Brockholes Nature Reserve

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Today was one of those unexpected days of adventure. We ate lunch and set off on our bikes, pedaling alongside the River Ribble away from the city centre. We headed East upstream, whizzing past men hoisting fences into farmland whilst gulping in mouthfuls of manure scented air. It felt good to be free.

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We headed onto Brockholes Nature Reserve. Situated next to the River Ribble Brockholes is one of the best sites in the UK for observing many different species of bird and has one of the largest strips of ancient woodland in the county. We also love it because it’s easily accessible from the Guild Wheel cycle route, it has a fantastic adventure play area and a visitor’s centre that floats on one of the reserve’s lakes. I also noticed a new addition to the visitors’ centre, The Gallery, a shop that showcases the work of local artists and craftspeople. It is run by the Arts and Crafts Guild of Lancashire and stocks a range of fine art, photography, textiles, ceramics, glass, jewellery, wood and furniture.

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We ambled around the reserve, heading down to the river to watch two swans, throw sticks in the water and watch the baby lambs at play on nearby farmland. Two geese swooped close overhead nearly knocking my son into the water and came to land with a splash. Spring is such a lovely time of year, I love watching the animals pair up as the season of l’amour begins.

As we walked back to the play area, across the long grass, we could see hundreds of tiny spiders running for cover underfoot. Now I usually can’t stand the eight legged fiends but out here they didn’t seem so frightening. Every time we placed a foot down a spider scuttled away.

After twenty or so zips along the zip wire we headed back along the Guild Wheel. Swallows dipped and soared along one stretch of the cycle path but we pedaled on until we came to a field of inquisitive cows. My son climbed into the field and the cows stepped closer, just a large patch of boggy land separated them. The ‘cows’ looked more like young bulls to me, so I called my son back suggesting that we needed to head back for tea. And we happily went on our way.

What a marvellous day.

Brockholes Nature Reserve, Preston New Road, Preston, Samlesbury PR5 0AG T: 01772 872000

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