Where I live I am really lucky to have plenty of choices of walks in woods, fields and lakes in particular.
Lea Marston Lakes is a fishing hot spot, Kingsburry Water Park is great for water sports and entertaining the children but another great area to take the children is Middleton Lakes. All of these lakes are connected and the Birmingham to Fazeley canal runs along side it and through it, as does the River Tame.
So all in all a potentially very wet area!
But not on a lovely day like today.
Middleton Lakes is managed by the RSPB so whilst the car park is modest the area is like a hidden gem that only true twitchers and the odd family knows about, and its only a £2 donation instead of £3.50 at nearby Kingsbury Water Park.
You can either enter through a dirt road that looks like you are very lost or can go in through the Middleton Hall entrance. The great thing about the Lakes is that whilst it does not have its own cafe, just a few minutes walk to Middleton Hall and the courtyard has a number of shops, toilets and cafe. The courtyard is free and open all week.
Middleton Hall is open Wednesdays, Sundays and Bank holiday Mondays when a charge of £4 for adults and under 18s are free. It can make this half a day into a full days activity.
Equally certain weekends have activities, such as the Food and craft fair on the last Sunday of the month and these are great for wondering around the hall and grounds and seeing plenty of stalls and all for free (small parking charge).
Today just Richard and I went to the Lakes as Seymour wasn’t feeling too well 😦
We were sure to bring our RSPB binoculars. A special board walk runs over a pond with a heron rookery. We saw 1 heron in flight and a number of other smaller birds on the bird feeders they have at that spot including: a great tit, a chiffchaff and a starling.
We were lucky enough to see a grass snake in the water too!
Walking along we were met with many blackberries and elderberries not quite ready just yet (another 2-4 weeks). A lovely field of wild meadow flowers and another full of wheat.
Whilst in the wheat field we struck up a conversation with a New Zealand farmer taking photos that told us the wheat was ready to be harvested right now and you can tell by taking the grain and biting it. It should be hard, dry and crunch when bitten down on. The wheat in the centre of the field will be ready earlier as it gets full sun so if the wheat at the edges is ready the whole field is ready.
We also saw some lovely signs great for the children to learn about different birds and insects.
Because of these fact boards today I learnt that only female bees carry the pollen as they are the worker bees. So if you see a bee with pollen sacks on their legs its a female!
Great for dogs on leads, families wanting an affordable and interesting day out. Bring your binoculars and a picnic or get some grub from the courtyard cafe.
I really had a lovely few hours going around the lakes with Richard. I will definitely be going back soon with Seymour, some bags to collect the berries and my binoculars!