So it is time for my first proper Blogpost. Today we went to Attenborough Nature Reserve. This is a haven for wildlife and a sanctuary for ornithologists (thanks spell check), but it is also a great walk or cycle for the family. I heartily recommend this reserve and it is worth travelling a reasonable distance to see. It is also free! Parking comes with an optional donation of £2. So what’s on offer? A large complex of lakes provide bird watching, walking, cycling, fishing or even boating. The complex nestles next to the the River Trent, situated at the back of an industrial estate connected to Chilwell Retail park and adjacent, unsurprisingly, to the beautiful village of Attenborough. Depending on the route you take for a walk – there are 3 circuits:
Red – Tufted Duck Trail Blue – Kingfisher Trail Yellow – Skylark Trail
We took the Blue Route (Kingfisher Trail) this was the longest circuit at 3.7 miles ( if you don’t take the short cut)…and to be honest might not have been the cleverest on my part, as I had done a 6 mile jog in the morning. :O)……silly boy.
To really take advantage and see all of the varied habitat you need to be prepared to walk or cycle. The paths are generally very good and quite solid although I expect in some places heavy rain may require walking boots. I have added a few photos to give you an idea of the what you will find, but if you visit our Facebook page there is an album of many more images for your perusal. The paths were never quiet for long ( it was Bank Holiday Weekend) but whether on bike or foot there was no inconvenience and it certainly did not detract from the sights and sounds. If you are there to capture or see the wildlife; a pair of binoculars, telescope or decent camera with a powerful lens will certainly help. There are hides all over the site so you are perfectly set-up to see that shy elusive creature. While the whole place is constantly picturesque it is also nicely offset with industry which appears at various points around the perimeter: there appeared to be an old quarry and in the distance you can see the Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station cross the Trent. Surprising these really do fit well with the whole place.
The return circuits all lead back to the carpark and cafe / shop. This is a beautiful island which is dominated by a wooden building across a glass walk way. ‘Modern’ meets nature beautifully. The shop offers some delicious cakes, local drinks and the obligatory coffee selection. The cafe also has an outdoor verander which is perfect in the summer. The shop provides a range of wildlife books and gift paraphernalia as well as some more serious purchases for the wildlife enthusiast i.e. binoculars, telescopes and believe it or not optical microscopes.
All in all a really good couple of hours was had!
For us this is local so we will visit again and again. We loved it!