The joy of running out of sight

Today I was back at Prestwood, Bucks, for the second of my breeding bird surveys (BBS) for the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO).  It was five weeks since my first one, which I reported here, and it was all quite different. 

For a start, as I stand in the beechwood ready to begin at 6.25 am there are fewer birds singing than in May, the noise is less intense and it’s easier to work out what’s going on. However, it is confused by the cheepings of youngsters, which we are not meant to record.

The beechwoods are deeper green.

Peterley Wood in June

Peterley Wood in June

The grass in the meadow has grown considerably

The meadow

The meadow

and is now a rich mix of clover and daisies.

web daisies

The view across the valley is shades of green.

View west to Bryant's Bottom

View west to Bryant’s Bottom

It was good to see and hear blackcaps, to hear two cuckoos and to know that robins, blackbirds, chaffinches and song thrushes are thriving in this part of Bucks.  A skylark sang over the grass fields but there was no sign of the yellowhammer from my May visit.

On my second transect, in Lawrence Grove Wood, I was pleased to meet Virginia Deradour from Collings Hanger Farm, setting out to check her pigs and cattle.  The farm is organic, recognised by the Soil Association, and Virginia welcomes my survey.  She told me how they have visits from inner-city children who have never been to the countryside.  They call the Lawrence Grove Wood ‘Quiet Wood’.  Here the children are asked to be quiet and to experience nature.  They are surprised to discover the pigs rootling there.

Quiet Wood

Quiet Wood

She also told me that many of the children have never seen an open space larger than a football pitch and have never been allowed to run out of sight.  They achieve both when they visit her farm.

It’s nice to do my BBS on land which is run by people who appreciate the value of recording birds and of enabling deprived children to enjoy the countryside.


About campaignerkate

I am the general secretary of the Open Spaces Society and I campaign for public access, paths and open spaces in town and country.
This entry was posted in Birds, British Trust for Ornithology, Bucks and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The joy of running out of sight

  1. 76newhomes says:

    I thought that you would be interested to hear that Chiltern District Council have received an outline planning application to develop 76 new homes on the land to the north of Peterley Wood:-

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