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An early morning Spring walk.
by David Smeatham

You know when you're waking up and you can tell it's a lovely morning by the intensity of the light in the room through the curtains? Well,a while ago I was in the habit of throwing off the covers ,donning the boots, and going for a walk but more recently I've lapsed.

Not today though!

A quick glass of water and a couple of digestives in my pocket I strode out of the house to the sound of the 6 o'clock toll of St Andrew's bells.

I walked down Hockenhull Lane, through the woodland walk, to the sound of a very loud enthusiastic wren and the more melodic blackbird. The lighting is amazing.
I walk past the turkey farm and get clear views of Beeston and Peckforton Castles and Waverton Church through a slight mist.

Walking down Platts Lane towards the Roman Bridges the temperature noticeably drops as I walk into the trees.

Two rabbits suddenly notice me and dart into the undergrowth. Its then I notice a Buzzard sitting hunched in a tree not 20 metres from me. Again I disturb it, am I really that heavy footed?

When I reach the Roman Bridges the Dexter cattle, introduced to the Platts to aid the biodiversity, look splendid against the dewy, misty backdrop. The work that was carried out last year underneath the third bridge to create a channel down to the Gowy has shown real benefits with reeds and water plants in abundance. The bird song is amazing and I've tried to capture it in the clip.

Carrying on towards Waverton and then down the drive towards Cotton Farm.

The last time I was here was the week before Christmas to pick up the Goose. It looks very different now with a sea of many shades of fresh green, and by the way the Goose was delicious.

Walking down the footpath on the left before the farm and through the field of young corn I'm treated to the wonderful sight and sound of two lapwings swooping and darting as if dancing over the field. Its such a shame that this beautiful farmland bird has suffered significant declines recently and is now on the RSPB's species Red List.
Birdsong was very strong that morning.
( Ed. I am sure David also had a flight of Canada Geese going overhead !)

Given all the rain we had earlier in the year its still surprising that the ground is so dry. I climb over the stile and in the corner of the field I see the back end of a hare dart across the grassy field. It pauses in the field, looks around at me, and then speeds off again into the hedge.
I stroll across the field to the Gowy and then downstream towards the bridges again.

The Gowy's looking really healthy with a strong flow and rich vegetation on either bank. The new notice board at the bridge states that otters are known to pass through. Somehow I'm not surprised. I walk back up towards the village and notice the really strong smell of the cow parsley and red campion which is intensified by the now higher sun.

Walking back into Tarvin I'm struck by the change in the sound. It is dominated by sparrows arguing in the hedges and the waking village. Walking back to the house St Andrew's bell tells me its 7.30.

What a wonderful walk (see map) and a great way to start the weekend — although I do feel like going back to bed.

Editor's note: If you have a favourite walk please contact us using editor@tarvinonline.org