On Sunday 8 March I’ll be helping the Bath Natural History Society to lead a wildlife walk through Charlcombe Valley.
This is a very special place for me. Somewhere that I return to time and time again, a place that you can be at one with nature. Its a place that changes so much with the passing of the seasons and has a rich natural history story to tell.
From a babbling brook to the wildflower rich meadows, a network of hedgerows and grand old trees, Charlcombe sometimes feels like a hidden gem (to use a well worn phrase).
Whatever time of the year I visit with my family there is something different. It could be buzzards circling above, being attacked by angry crows, or countless species of butterfly in flight on a warm summers day. And its a place where you discover undiscovered places all of the time, an ancient tree worn down by the passage of time or a new place revealed by the clearance of scrub.
This walk with the passionate experts, who certainly know their stuff, will another a layer of knowledge to my understanding of Charlcombe, overlooked by Solsbury Hill and loved by Jane Austen, a frequent visitor. It will be a great chance for kids (and adults) to roam free and get that little bit closer to the natural world on their doorstep.
Starting at the junction between Richmond Road and Charlcombe Lane, the wildlife meander will begin 2.30pm (on Sunday 8 March), and continue till dusk, weather permitting. They’ll be a chance to join up with the brilliant toad patrol; volunteers giving a helping hand to the toads as they migrate down the valley – one of the biggest of its kind in the UK.