WILD ROSES

There are numerous varieties of ‘wild roses’ in the Uk but they all have the one thing in common, their beautyand the fact that are my favourite. From crisp white in colour to pastel pink right through to purple these beautiful flowers can be found growing in most areas of the UK. Happily growing in hedgerows, woodlands and scrubland the sight and scent of these colourful plants always puts a smile on my face. Although there are may different varieties of wild rose it is very hard to identify which species is which as they can look so similar, even the differing colour of their flowers does not mean they are differing species. The most common rose though is the ‘Dog Rose’ with its pale pink flowers.

I believe that all the varieties of wild roses produce rose hips, the bright red, oval berry like fruits that we used to break open, when we were kids, and stuff down the necks of our friends to irritate their skin and make them itch, or was that just a mischievous younger version of me. The hips are said to be high in vitamin C and are used, in the foraging community, to make a sweet syrup for cooking purposes or turned into an oil for skincare use.

Wild rose flowers are an important source of nectar for insects and the fruits they produce are a good food source for birds found around scrubland. The stems of the plants are laden with nasty thorns which latch onto anything that touches them easily which in turn means that only the smallest, nibblest of birds can feast of the fruits.

Most of the roses, in the pictures above, were growing within the same country park, in fact some were only growing a few meters apart. Some of the flowers are your more traditional looking petal shapes but some, as you can see, have a delicate crinkly look to the edges of the petals.

ALTON WATER

A couple of days ago i spent some time fishing a very large and attractive reservoir called ALTON WATER. I’ve fished here a few times before as it holds most species of coarse fish that i enjoy angling for, but its not just the fish that draw me back to this water its the sheer beauty of the pace. While i was there i had a buzzard land in a tree above me, numerous waterfowl frolicking in front of me, could hear cuckoos in the distance as well a woodpecker hammering away at a nearby tree, but the ‘PIECE DE RESISTANCE’ was having a little electric blue flash drop down and sit on my rod tip, for just a few seconds, to say hello. I do love kingfishers and had been watching this little fellow whizzing too and fro for best part of the day, unfortunately he didn’t sit still long enough for me to take a photo.

Alton Water, the actual waters surface that is, is roughly 350 acres and tree lined around most of its banks. Located just outside Ipswich, in Suffolk, its easy to get as being only a few miles from the A12. There is a level gravel pathway around the whole of its perimeter, approximately 8.2 miles, and is ideal for those who enjoy a nice comfortable stroll in some glorious natural surroundings as well the more active amongst us who prefer to pedal around on two wheels or , god knows why, jog along . Theres a nice little cafe and picnic area located at the dam end, as well as a kiosk where you can hire a bike to propel yourself along the pathways. Further along towards the dam is a watersports centre for those who like taking to the water on sail boards, paddle boards and sailed dinghies. Theres also a caravan park on site to pitch up and enjoy the scenery.

Above are a few pictures, i took on my way back from fishing, which i thought might give an idea of the scale and beauty of the place. They are only a taster as i plan to do a vlog there pretty soon so will go into more depth about the place then.