Barely a couple of miles to the east of the centre of Bath is a magical place, overlooked by Solsbury Hill.
A valley with a stream flowing for all of time at its heart; creating a constant soundscape matched by the gorgeous symphony of birdsong gently filling the air.
Each season brings dramatic change to this place. Caterpillars turn into butterflies. Nettles grow to their full height. Trees come into full leaf. And young birds start to fledge from the nest they have called home.
As the days lengthen the meadows come alive – spring becomes early summer. They bring the promise of a patchwork of colour throughout the summer months against the backdrop of a lush landscape. Little grazed these fields transport you back to an era before the intensification of farming.
Yellows, purples and pinks draw the eye to a plethora of grasses. At the height of summer countless butterflies flutter heading towards their journey’s end turning this way and that. Buzzards can often be seen circling above, some times buzzed by angry crows or magpies.
And you keep coming back to the meadows. They’ve become a rarity; a habitat that needs us to defend them, celebrate them and replenish them.
I once saw a young fox. It was startled by my presence: it had been minding its own business, bravely strolling through the meadows. Now it made a dash to saftey to avoid my gaze, hiding from my view.
The peacefulness of this natural world is often invaded by the sound of children. A sound to behold in a screen-dominated world. Children splashing, children playing, children collecting: letting their imaginations run wild.
They create their games outside of the parameters of an adult world, finding their voice and growing in confidence: as it should be.
This local meadowland is a place that captures the heart and lifts the spirit: when-ever you come here. Generations will have followed well-trodden routes, paths zig-zagging through fields.
Colours, sounds, smells; all reflecting the turning of the natural world. Visit this priceless, precious gem and you’re taken away from the treadmill of life.