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Never mind the Bluebells

OK, the Bluebells are looking great at the moment, but as part of your membership of TAOA you can get more exotic experiences down by the river. There's the incredibly aromatic swathes of Wild Garlic to be found on Beats 3a and 3c - if you decide to pick some, please don't take the bulbs or whole plants (it's illegal) but a few well-chosen handfuls can make a great soup or pesto - so I'm told. If you decide to visit Beats 2a or 2b and park at the Share Farm end (either at Nevergood Farm Yard, or the new parking at the top of Share Farm drive) there's an even more exotic sight.

No, it's not a Pink Bluebell, this is the Early Purple Orchid, and quite a few of them can be found along the side of the Share Farm drive. There are far more of them there this year than last, and you can identify them before they've flowered by the black blotches on the leaves.

As if this wasn't enough, I heard my first cuckoo of the year there this morning (and all day), then spotted a Red Kite drifting over and a Mandarin drake landing on the river in front of me.

I even spotted a Lamprey darting away from some disturbed silt, and that's to say nothing of the superb fishing with the catches still going strong on Beat 2a, and getting much better on 2b as well this year.

Where else can you get such a great experience in this area?



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