It has been a long time since I have visited Trentham Gardens in Staffordshire.
When I was a child, Trentham Gardens was a caravan and camp site, and despite only being a twenty minute drive away from our home, me and my family spent many holidays caravanning there. It just goes to show that you don’t need to travel miles to have exciting and memorable holidays. We spent many summers spotting birds and other wildlife and sitting on deck chairs outside the caravan at night looking for bats and chatting.
Trentham has changed a lot in twenty years. The caravan site is no longer there but there are plans to build log cabins.
My mum and I took a trip to the gardens last Sunday, one of the sunniest days this year so far, and as you can imagine, the gardens and lake were jam packed full of people.
After reading my BBC Wildlife magazine, the advice on what to do in one morning was to visit a heronry. I had found that Trentham Estate has one of the biggest heronries in the country. 42 breeding pairs have been counted! We arrived early and set off to the lake. The heronry is based on an island in the middle of the lake. We sat in the bird hide overlooking the heronry and were not disappointed by how many herons we saw sitting on the top of branches and flying overhead.
DEER AND BIRD HIDE
To escape the crowds, me and my mum took refuge in the deer and bird hide located by the lake and next to the River Trent. Unfortunately we didn’t see any deer but we did see plenty of birds…
We also saw buzzards flying overhead…
THE RIVER TRENT
Whilst sitting in the bird hide, we saw a flash of blue swooping over the river. A definate sign of a kingfisher. He flew back and forth many times. And then as he flew past, another followed! The River Trent is a perfect nesting site for kingfishers. Unfortunately they were too fast for us to spot if they were a male and female pair. To have a good chance of getting a photograph, we left the bird hide and stood closer to the river. Camera poised, I was ready for him. He arrived but then took a u-turn and headed back with a ‘che-keeee.’ He had obviously seen us and was giving his partner a warning.
THE WOODLAND WALK
We sat in the woods and ate our lunch and we were joined by a jay….
Then my Mum spotted a buzzard sitting high up in a tree.
WHAT TO SEE AND WHERE: MAP OF TRENTHAM GARDENS
Yellow Circle – Deer and Bird Hide. Great place to spot kingfishers flying over the River Trent.
Green Circle – Woodland Walks where we spotted jays. Look high up in the trees to spot buzzards.