Easter visits to LatterseyNature Reserve

Easter

Easter visit

A few times recently I have had a solitary leisurely stroll around Lattersey Nature Reserve, not that my strolls  are ever much more than leisurely. I suppose leisurely with a bit of purpose is as fast it gets.

Easter2

Cattle grazing

There are cattle grazing the field, they will probably soon be moved to pastures new, the grass is getting very short and they are being fed hay.

Easter3

A lot of water around still

The water levels around both sides of the reserve are fairly high still, with places normally dry by now well inundated, in the North side of the reserve the level in the pit is high enough to cover the paving slabs of the fishing places. It was fantastic to see a large brood of young ducklings with their mum, she was doing her best to shepherd them around.

Easter4

Mum watching her ducklings. I counted at least eleven.

I am always fascinated by the way fallen trees often resurrect themselves.  Branches which had been horizontal on the growing tree now reaching upward from the fallen trunk. The branches themselves becoming eventually trunks in their own right.

Easter6

Partly resurrected, partly recycled

Easter5

Resurrected, this is a big tree

Other fallen trees, beyond resurrection, are recycled by nature. The insects making homes by boring tunnels into the fallen carcass, fungus, moss and other plants taking the opportunity to root on the remains. Eventually what remains of the dead tree rots away and enriches the soil.

Easter8

A patch of Dog Violets

Early Dog Violet compressed

An early Dog Violet?

There are few patches of blue Dog Violets appearing here and there,  the clumps of daffodils that brightened everywhere have now died back. Much of the blossom has now fallen from the trees, soon other flowers will appear as spring moves forward and summer approaches.

Easter7

Not much blossom remaining

4 responses to this post.

  1. In my formative years, there used to be cattle grazing on the green where I lived in Woodford (East London suburb) and all the way out to Epping. There was some old statute that gave commoners the right to graze their animals on common land (which Woodford Green and, indeed, Epping forest is). if one of these cows wandered out in front of your car on the Epping New Road, you not only had to pay for the repair to your car (if repairable – these were hefty beasts) – you had to recompense the owner for his dead cow.
    When the cows would wander off the green and down our cul-de-sac, I well recall my Gran going out to the front garden with a broom to chase them off the roses (which were, apparently, very tasty to cows).
    When the M11 was built in the 70’s and the North Circular upgraded accordingly, large cattle grids were installed around the waterworks roundabout to keep the cattle away from the fast traffic.
    As far as I’m aware, the local bylaws were never repealed. it was BSE (Mad Cow Disease) that ended the practice of grazing cattle on common land, when herds were destroyed and keeping cattle in such a casual manner was no longer profitable.

    Reply

    • It always seems strange to see livestock in an urban environment doesn’t it? In Cambridge, cattle still graze in the centre of the city, I just checked and permits are available for this year. Permits cost £65 per cow reduced to £40 per cow for herds of 10 or more, Cattle can be grazed on Coe Fen, Coldham’s Common, Midsummer Common, Sheep’s Green, and Stourbridge Common.

      Reply

      • We had to keep our wits about us walking the dog on the green though. Not just to avoid walking in the cowpats. If the dog got too far ahead, she used to love rolling it.

  2. My son’s dog likes the horse droppings and fox poo to roll in. Which means a bath for him if we aren’t quick enough off the mark.

    Reply

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