During lockdown, the guidelines suggest that we can’t travel too far. In fact, the best way to use our daily exercise is to get some truly fresh air and take a walk around a local to home nature spot. Here’s some Clifton based nature areas to take a wander:
Clifton Grove woodland forms part of the woodland complex, running along the River Trent. Clifton Grove is over a mile long, joining Clifton Woods. The top part of the path is mainly grassy habitat. This area inhabits a great deal of wildflowers on the undisturbed ground plus some major oak trees. It’s also a great place for bird watching.
The path next to the river is bordered by woodland that grows up the embankment. Many woodland birds can be seen from this path including feeding flocks of tits in the winter and jays. The abundance of woodland flowers attracts many insects including bees and butterflies. Many waterbirds use the river along the grove including ducks, herons, grebes and also quite a few kingfishers. Sparrowhawks and buzzards are also regularly seen here, soaring high over the river.
Holme Pit has been designated as a SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) for the range of species found in the wetland and marsh habitats. The most interesting part of Holme Pit is the reedbed which is a great a nesting habitat for many wetland birds. Listen out for reed and sedge warblers in the summer and look for reed buntings all year round.In winter, you may be lucky enough to see a bird such as the bittern or hear the loud squealing of a water rail. Butterflies and dragonflies are a common sight amongst the flowers and rushes bordering the lake and frogs use the shallows to spawn every spring.
Clifton Wood is a large and diverse woodland that forms part of a series of woodlands that run for several miles along the River Trent. Different species grow throughout the woods. To the south, there’s mainly beech, lime and larch, whilst the northern end of the woods is dominated by large oaks and sycamore. You may notice a few exotic species such as the huge ‘wellingtonias’ (giant redwoods), native to North America.
Don’t forget to wrap up warm, wear your waterproofs if you have them and please don’t wear your favourite pair of shoes!
Photographs by Dani Bacon