• Judith Barrow Author

January 10th 2020: First of our Monthly Walks Around Bosherston Lily Ponds.

The Bosherston Lily Ponds are part of the old Stackpole Estate, a few miles from where we live in Pembrokeshire. The parkland was established by the Cawdor family who built the Bosherston Lakes between 1780 and 1860 as the focal point of their designed landscape; a scenic backdrop to their grand home, Stackpole Court, demolished in 1963.

What was once a valley was later flooded to create the Bosherston Lakes, now kn own as the Lily Ponds,as part of a designed landscape, and thousands of trees were planted. The coastline, woods and lakes later passed to the National Trust. and is a Grade I listed landscape, recognised as a National Nature Reserve

The walk around the Lily Ponds is one of our favourite circular walks. Today,on our anniversary, after weeks of uncertain weather, is glorious. There are two wooden bridges across the lily ponds. Okay if you don't meet anyone who insists on clinging onto the hand rail. We see lots of tiny black fish.

The stone bridge is wider... and safer!

It's a great place to visit for wildlife watching and to have a wander. No water lilies ( they'll come later in the year). And neither the heron nor the resident otters are spotted today. But a lone swan represents the family which are usually around. And the gorse is out.

The lakes are actually man-made and the cracks and fissures in the underlying rock mean that water can flow in and out of them fairly freely. Most of the paths are quite rocky and uneven and on the east side there is a slight climb so we can look down and across all the ponds. We see grebes and a cluster of moorhen. Unfortunately I forget to photo them. Next time!

I love the long golden grasses in the ponds, especially at this time of year. I've painted them a few times.

The lily ponds are supplied by springs fed by a natural underground reservoir, and the water escapes the same way during dry spells.

And spill out onto a tidal stream which flows onto the beach at Broadhaven. It's high and fast moving today after all the rain lately.

And, today, the tide is right out. There are a myriad of patterns in the sand which sinks slightly under our feet. David takes a lot of photographs ( which are a great deal better than mine).

Time to go back. Lunch at a great pub nearby to celebrate our anniversary. Fifty years? Good grief! So far I've managed to ignore the old joke which comes out each time someone discovers how long we've been married -"You don't get that long with a prison sentence". Huh! Always directed to David, I notice.



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