30 Apr 2017

128 Steps

Hope Valley SWT Reserve - Wednesday, 26th April 2017

We visited this reserve a few years ago and spent two hours in the car park before I dragged the group away to look at the rest of the site.Since then certain members have badgered me to arrange a return. So here we are, back again. And I can tell that those same members are excited at the prospect.

Seven of us gathered on site on a cold but bright day. Yes, we spent another two hours in the car park. 

To be fair it was not the actual spot where the cars were parked but a small meadow to its side

We set about looking for things of interest and were not disappointed, although, from the author's point of view there was a lack of mature bugs.

Bluebells - photographs: David Williams
Common carder bee - photograph: Jim Cresswell
Rhingia campestris - photograph: Jim Cresswell
Opposite leaved yellow saxifrage
Syrphus ribesii - photograph: David Williams
Yellow archangel
Eristalis pertinax - photograph: Jim Cresswell
Orange tip - photograph: David Williams
Neon reticulatus - photograph: David Williams
Red-tailed bumble bee - photograph: Jim Cresswell
Wood spurge - photograph: Jim Cresswell
In the meantime one of the group nipped across the road and took this excellent photograph of the Minsterley Brook which borders the reserve.

Photograph: Bob Kemp
I did it again. Yes. With trepidation I suggested we move out of the car park/meadow. Agreement was reached when I tempted the group with picnic tables for lunch.

Between us and the picnic tables were a few steps.

Up and up we went. 128 steps (approximately). When we reached the top of the steps there was still a bit of a rising path to negotiate, but we all got there. Unfortunately my memory had let me down. There were no picnic tables!! The group took it well. 

Cameras were rested

Lunch was taken. 

Afterwards we explored the top of the hill. The area was very dry and there was very little stirring in the chilly weather so we enjoyed the views of the Stiperstones on the other side of the valley and the plains to the north.

Photograph: Jim Cresswell
Photograph: Jim Cresswell
Someone found a mazegill fungus so called, as my youngest granddaughter has just informed me, because the gills look like a maze.

Photograph: David Williams

Having marched up to the top of the hill we now marched down again. 

Photograph: Jim Cresswell
We dallied in the car park/meadow then made our way home.

My thanks to Shropshire Wildlife Trust for granting us permission to do what we do and to the lens men who provided the excellent photographs that supplement my own.

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