Mapperley - Woods, Water And Wildlife
w/e 29 May 2005
All this week's pictures were taken with a Kodak DX6490

Shipley Hill

There's a car park on the southern edge of Shipley Country Park and on the northern side of Mapperley Reservoir. The car park is reached by following the road from Mapperley Village and crossing the dam. For a nominal parking fee of 50p payable in an honesty box, visitors can wander around the reservoir or climb up Shipley Hill via the private road on the left of this picture above to explore the park. It is also a good place to park to access Mapperley Wood, the trees in the foreground of the picture, a narrow belt of woodland with a stream running through it and a pond in the middle - which is where we went for the following images.

The wood is a Nature Reserve administered by the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust and we entered the site by climbing the style near the car park.

Grey Squirrel

I must admit that I have difficulty in distinguishing one bird call from another but the air was full of birdsong. It is said that the calls of chiffchaff, willow warbler, blackcap, robin and chaffinch are common sounds to be heard in the wood. Much more easily identifiable though was the grey squirrel that crossed our path.
Woodland Path

A couple of hundred yards into the wood, another path branches off and leads to Mapperley Pond. At the end of May it was flanked by red campion and cow parsley and elsewhere in the wood the last bluebells of this season were still in flower. Within the confines of the wood we also saw forget-me-nots and many other wild flowers.
Mapperley Pond

A hide overlooks the pond and permit holders can use it to watch for coot, moorhen, mallard and kingfisher as well as the aforementioned woodland birds. Dragonflies and damsel flies also thrive among the reeds and this view across the pond from close to the hide shows that it is a lovely spot even if the wildlife is not visible.
Mapperley Wood

Several paths wind their way through the wood which contains some of Derbyshire's most vulnerable habitats. These include mature oak woodland, wetland and a small area of acid grassland. Many of the trees in the wood have nest boxes attached which provide homes for species such as the great spotted woodpecker and the nuthatch during the summer months.

We returned to the car park from the far end of the wood by walking first into Mapperley Village and then out again along the road over the dam. With Mapperley Wood on our right hand side, the views to the left over the still waters of the reservoir were just too good to pass without taking a picture or two. This one is enhanced by the yellow flags beneath the dam wall. The two white specks in the distance were a pair of swans shepherding a family of cygnets and to the right of them, the vertical white line in the water is the reflection of a lone angler.

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