Oh what a beautiful day!

For weeks, I’ve been meaning to walk round the National Nature Reserve (NNR) just down the lane from Watermill Cottages at Slapton Ley and today was the day, with the first spring birdcalls in the air and a beaming sun.

Slapton Ley towards Torcross

 

A fabulously crammed fresh crab sandwich and a cuppa at The Start Bay Inn at Torcross for lunch then a walk round the Ley – the colours, my goodness. 


 

And as I rounded a dip in th path at the edge of the lapping Ley, nine young swans preening – I couldn’t believe my luck.  Some of the young from last year – 2013 was such a good swan year.

view from hide at Ireland Wood

The view from the hide at Ireland Bay, round the walk from the bridge on the Slapton road is magnificent –  looking over reed beds to Ireland Farm which was evacuated in preparation for Operation Tiger in 1943, a rehearsal for the D-Day Landings in World War Two.  The inhabitants didn’t ever return.

boats beached at Slapton Ley

first celandine
over the ring seat to the monument 
commemorating Operation Tiger

A Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) the Reserve is managed by Slapton Ley Field Centre and is home to otters, birdlife, butterflies, including bitterns, Cetti’s warbler and kingfishers.  The Gara brook that runs through the garden and valley of Watermill Cottages feeds the Higher Ley, which is why we take so much care of our land.