Withymead Nature Reserve, 7th May 2016

At last! The sun was shining on the Green Gym team as they arrived at Withybush Nature Reserve at Goring. Eleanor Dangerfield was leading, and our tasks were set by the Wardens, Dorothy and Keith. who we were sorry to learn were moving on shortly to work in Cumbria. One of the first jobs was pulling out weeds from amongst the hedge-plants which Petra and Janet addressed with enthusiasm.

Margaret collects suitable small branches to be used as markers for paths through the boggy parts of the site.

Our coffee break was a real contrast to a lot of our recent experiences of having them standing up in the wind and rain.

We managed to have a walk round the site. A notice at the gate warned about the toxicity of the algal bloom which can be seen on the fairly static water. In the background can be seen the beautiful and rare Lodden Lilies which are a feature of the Reserve.

Everywhere young wild plants are making themselves at home and flourishing amongst dead material. I think this could be Lords and Ladies.

Lodden Lilies flourishing in the damp conditions.

Nesting boxes by thr river to encourage sandpipers.

The coot doesn’t seem bothered by toxicity of the algae!

Sadly, this is the last time we will be going to Withymead for the foreseeable future as on site wardens Dorothy and Keith are leaving. Due to a change of policy by the Ann Carpmael Trust, which owns the site, the future of this beautiful and diverse nature reserve is uncertain. We have really enjoyed our visits there.


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