Natural History Walk at Axbridge Reservoir
Report of a walk on Saturday 20 October 2012 led by Malcolm Marston
It was a clear, but not sunny afternoon, with some cloud about, 15 degrees C., when nine members set out to the west to skirt the base of the reservoir via footpaths. We crossed a stream where watercress and trout were seen.
After reaching Portmeade Drove we walked south, still at the reservoir base, observing many plants in the hedges and ditches along the drove, namely ash trees (with masses of keys), hazel, an ancient oak, hollies, hawthorn (with many berries) and even a wood-pigeon’s nest was spotted in the trees.
As well as the trees, many plants were still in flower, such as mugwort, white hedge bindweed, great meadow rue, herb robert, white comfrey and meadow sweet. There were bulrushes as well as various berries such as blackberries (not much taste by now), sloe, rosehips and the red fruit of white bryony. There were teasles as well as cow parsley, round-leaved mint, dock and burdock.
Blue tits were flitting about the trees and even a dragon fly was seen, too quickly to be identified.
Eventually we reached Middle Moor Lane and at this point decided to climb up the side of the reservoir, passing several black-faced sheep, where we found ourselves looking across a large, quiet, calm, circular stretch of water; we stopped to admire the view, with the Mendips as a backdrop.
On our walk around to the east we passed the Cheddar village access drive, car park and the intake tower where many black headed gulls were perched. The remainder of the walk took us past the yacht club and boat yard where we saw various water birds – coots, swans, great and little crested grebes and some lesser black-backed gulls. The plants along the way were yarrow, agrimony, enchanter’s nightshade and ox-eye daisies, all still in flower.
A good two hour walk was enjoyed by all. Please follow the link below for further information.