I phoned my mum yesterday morning to see if we could pop over and let the kids mess her house up instead of ours for a change. Because I called on the day, we weren’t allowed over immediately and had to wait 5 hours for reasons that I still don’t understand- they’re both in their 70’s and retired, and don’t really have a social life.
Anyway, in order that we got out of the house before anyone literally committed murder, I decided it would be nice to pop to RSPB Rye Meads nature reserve and scoff a picnic lunch first. It was a lovely sunny day to be outside in the fresh air, looking for the nesting kingfishers, and trying to spot otters and wild mink.
The blackberries were out and delicious too, although we were sensible enough to only pick them from well above the height where any dogs might have been able to wee all over them!
The otter walk is a bit of an oddity, right in the middle of the reserve is a large one way full height turnstile with barbed wire all over the top. This otter walk is strictly one way and plenty of signs make this abundantly clear to the casual otter spotter. What the signs don’t make clear is the route back to the nature reserve car park/visitor centre from the otter trail finishes off on the toll road with a trip through the rather less picturesque Rye Meads Sewerage Treatment Works:
It was a hot day, as I’ve already said, and the plant was more than a bit whiffy!
Now I should put my hands up here and admit that I did know that the reserve was next door to the plant, in fact I think it was established with the aid of the owners of the sewerage plant originally but I definitely didn’t know that the otter trail took you through the middle of it!
Never let it be said that I can’t organise a memorable day out!