As I finished work the sun was shining and it was a beautiful evening. I had a book in the car, and needed to pop into the convenience store in our local village centre. The ice creams at the door beckoned and I was soon sitting in the local park, Pope’s Meadow with a Magnum and my “wild” book, Coastlines by Patrick Barkham.
As squadrons of ring necked parakeets screamed overhead, I lost myself in descriptions of the beautiful British coast protected by the National Trust and my own memories of some of the places he was discussing. Wonderful Stackpole, in Pembrokeshire where my husband and I spent a happy working holiday rebuilding a lime mortar wall in the gardens and watching bats, otters and seabirds in our evenings and time off… the Dorset coast where I holidayed as a child… it was lovely to sit in the sunshine in a wild spot and daydream.
After some time reading, my ice cream finished, I wandered around the park. There are a mixture of habitats here, a traditionally managed hay meadow, a small copse and veteran oaks, soaring high into the sky above me.
In the copse there is a stag beetle loggery, for the stag beetle larva to grow and develop, providing an important habitat for these declining insects.
There are several large bird boxes around the park, this one had been taken over by bees.
In another tree, I spotted a barn owl box, I hope it is occupied, I will have to visit the park again at dusk one evening to see if I can spot a bird quartering the grassland.
Yellow irises bloomed in damp spots under trees and in the pond.
Foxgloves cast architectural shadows, beautiful in the sunshine.
I headed home for my evening chores(and Springwatch!), feeling very relaxed. A half hour or so in a wild space on the way home is the perfect way to finish a working day.