Just beyond the cottage where I live, there are grassy corridors separating farmland and waterways. These tracks can be difficult to walk as they're often overgrown and almost impenetrable on foot but one such track, which I've been hoping to walk for the last couple of years, has recently been mowed by tractor offering several miles of (what is for me) previously unexplored trail.
As it was a lovely Sunday afternoon with no farming activity and just a light breeze, Mr Fenwick and I walked in peace, alongside kestrels, buzzard, geese, ducks, toad, reed warbler, skylark, wren, grey heron, juvenile blackbird, butterflies (including Red Admiral) and many other beings (seen and unseen)...
There are large swathes of farmland on this West Lancashire moss. I sometimes dream of all this land being made into wholesome patchworks where food and flowers are grown organically using permaculture / biodyanmic ways, and consider how much better this would be for soil and soul.
Yet on this place of moss and mere, just a crow's easy flight away from the sea, there is a tranquil beauty about the place on this lazy Sunday afternoon.
The land is intensively farmed virtually all year round here but the life at the edges of these plains show glimpses of nature's diversity and ability to thrive. The trees offer welcome shade and shelter, and this peaceful waterway is full of fish, often attracting various species of wetland birds. Although we saw geese and heron, the Kingfisher remained elusive on this occasion.
There are many places considerably more enchanting, wild and pure but I, for one, find it hard to resist exploring a peaceful countryside trail - especially one that is on my doorstep. Whether or not I have the opportunity to walk this route again, my curiosity has been fulfilled - for now, at least.