Thursday, May 10, 2018

Millers Pond, Shirley

Millers Pond is a very small park in Shirley, and comes under Croydon Council. There is a pond, which was originally one of three in the grounds of Spring Park House and farm estate.

The pond was used for watering the animals and soaking cartwheels to prevent them from shrinking. The original farm buildings no longer exist, but were situated north of the pond. You can see the second pond to the north, and the farm was west of this -

The house was demolished in the 1960s. However Croydon Council acquired the pond and surroundings in 1934 and it was named after the last farm tenants.

Today there is a small area of green as well as the pond. 

The pond is home to many waterfowl. There are Canada geese, mallards and coots, which I saw, as well as tufted ducks, grey herons and moorhens. Birds among the daisies -

 Different markings around the eyes on the above and below goose
 A coot -

Many people go to the pond to feed the birds. But as with most other public parks now, there are many notices asking people not to feed white bread to the birds -

A coot -

Mother coot and fluff balls -

There are two islands on the pond, on which the birds live and breed.

The park is now looked after by Friends of Millers Pond.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Coombe Wood, Croydon

Coombe Wood near Croydon is an ornamental garden and woodland. I went in early May primarily to see the rhododendrons and azaleas but they were already past their best. However the gardens and woods were still really pretty and well worth a visit.

Coombe Wood was first opened to the public in 1948. It was the former garden of Coombe Wood House. Coombe Wood supplied water to the estate through three conduits, hence the name of the adjoining road, Conduit Lane.

You enter the gardens and are met by colourful flower beds and a small pond on the left.

A little path winds through a rock garden. Surprisingly the rockery is made from artificial rock, named Pulhamite after the landscape garden who created it in the late 19th century, James Pulham.

Heading towards the woods -

Rhodondrodons -

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Caldey Island, Pembrokeshire, Wales

Caldey Island is offshore from Tenby in Pembrokeshire, West Wales. It has been inhabited since the Stone Age and since Celtic times various orders of monks have lived there. A 20 minute boat ride takes you to the island. To get on the boat at low tide, a tractor pushes the landing stage to the boat. On arrival on the island, the boat is met by an old army landing craft which transfers passengers to the jetty.

A short walk takes you to the village and the picturesque monastery. It is now occupied by Cistercian monks. These monks get up at 3 am each day to begin their prayers.

There are a couple of small churches, St Davids is of Norman architecture and has 2 nice stained glass windows (1920s) -

I went on the Woodland Walk which was beautiful with the pine trees. It leads to the cliffs. The flowers were lovely (end of April) and the gorse was out -

 A carpet of daisies -

Even the bluebells were out. The 2nd photo is of Spanish bluebells (?) in the village -

View back to Tenby

 Cowslips -

The scent of the wild garlic, ramsons, filled the air -

 Primroses -

I then walked up to the lighthouse, passing the Old Priory on the way. This is the limestone church -

I then took the coastal path. Caldey Island is part of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, the only National Park in the UK designated primarily for its coastline.

Back to the village via a pond with black swans and ducks -

And gulls on the beach -