I was recently introduced to wetlands near Ripon, a small city in North Yorkshire. In spite of going to nearby Old Sleningford Farm for six years, I still don’t know the area terribly well, because we have largely driven to the farm and then driven home again. On the other hand, now my daughter is older and no longer keen to get involved, I’m trying to add value to the day out. So, the wetlands were to be our next little adventure.
I’d had difficulty locating them on the map and on the way to the farm yesterday morning, I couldn’t see any signs for Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, who manage the wetlands. Fortunately, Rachel at the farm was able to give me directions which worked and there was even space in the car park when we arrived. Perhaps the space can be put down to the wetlands being somewhat under the radar.
As is frequently the case, my companion was nonplussed with the idea of a walk, so I suggested we could walk along the canal for just ten minutes. Up to the point where I could see what looked like something. Perhaps it would turn out to be a sign or the entrance to the wetlands.
In a sense, it turned out to be both. There were certainly signs giving information about the wetlands but it appears they are too dangerous for people to walk through. Instead, part of the fence/tree line barrier had been turned into a one-sided hide, so that visitors can see in and observe without causing damage to either the wildlife, the habitat or themselves.
It’s a shame that the birds were difficult to take photos of. On the other hand, having declared that the canal where we live is far superior, my daughter did concede that this reflection was particularly good. We will return and walk further along the canal but I think we need to take a walk closer to home first!