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Wednesday 2 May 2012

Attention to Detail and Map Making

Our Light Walk for April took us to Sywell Country Park and Reservoir a tranquil space which exists on the site of a former drinking water reservoir near the village of Sywell in East Northamptonshire. The reservoir was built at the turn of the 20th century to supply water to the Higham Ferrers and Rushden areas which connect neatly with two of our chosen locations for the Light Walks project. The reservoir operated between 1906 and 1979 and is now a beautiful country park with paths and wooded areas ripe for exploration. The land for the reservoir was purchased from the Stockdale family estate at adjoining Mears Ashby and covers an area of 280,000 square metres. 

It was our intention during this walk to encourage the group to look at nature in detail, to try and identify trees from the Nature Detectives Leaf Hunt sheet and plot all the sights, sounds, landmarks and wildlife that made an impression on them during the walk. There were a few greyish clouds scudding across our path during the walk but we had more sun than cloud which sparkled and bounced across the rippling water. There were pollen heavy trees, seed pods left from the autumn, fresh leaves unfurling and blossom in both trees and hedgerows.

buds about to burst into colour

We disturbed this cheeky squirrel feasting on the bird table!

A robin hunting about in the cool , fresh mud

Occasionally our walk was punctuated by the sound of planes from nearby Sywell Aerodrome out on manouvres

We were able to watch a pair of nesting swans

On one of the trees near the bird hide someone had carved a heart which has grown and stretched over time

Lloyd's Map

Our intervention for this walk was to create a map recording our impressions using drawings and stamps. Jo had prepared a template map showing just the basic outlines and it was up to the walkers to fill in the gaps in their own way.

This is a composite map combining elements from several maps

We could not be sure just which of this pair was the speediest, Charlie, Carole's whippet could only be off the lead in certain places but was more than happy to match the pace set by the group. His friendly human beat us all back to the car park by at least 10 minutes, much to everyone's surprise and delight!

Sunlight sparkled diamonds on the water

We were intrigued by the Valve Tower


and finally back down the steep steps, all smiles!

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