Saturday, 30 July 2016

Pre-Historic Birds

When I visited Birdland (see last post) there was a section of pre-historic birds that needed their own page. No idea what their names are.

Thursday, 28 July 2016


Birdland Park and Gardens, often called Birdland, is a wildlife park in Bourton-on-the-Water, Gloucestershire, England. First opened in 1957, the park moved to its current location in 1989. Birdland originally existed in the 5-acre (2.0 ha) grounds of a Tudor manor house called Chardwar and was started by Len Hill, who was often referred to as the Penguin Millionaire.
There are around 500 birds contained within more than 50 aviaries, including tropical, temperate and desert houses.
The park contains the only king penguins in England, Wales or Ireland.
Other species of note include: pink backed pelicans. Stanley or Blue Cranes, White Naped cranes, Cassowary, Marabou stock and Golden Conure, also known as a golden parakeet. (Birdland is part of an international breeding program for this vulnerable species.[1]) Desert House - sparsely planted greenhouse to provide a suitable environment for birds that prefer near arid conditions. Species include: Desert Finch and Carmine Bee-Eater.

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Lower Slaughter

I like driving and I like visiting little villages in the middle of nowhere. Lower Slaughter is one of those villages you could spend all day in.
Lower Slaughter is a village in the English county of Gloucestershire, located in the Cotswold district, 4 miles (6.4 km) south west of the town of Stow-on-the-Wold.
The village is built on both banks of the River Eye, which also flows through Upper Slaughter. At the west end of the village there is a 19th-century water mill with an undershot waterwheel and a chimney for additional steam power. There is a ford where the river widens in the village and several small stone footbridges join the two sides of the community. While the mill is built of red brick most of the 16th and 17th century homes in the village use Cotswold sandstone and are adorned with mullioned windows and often with other embellishments such as projecting gables.
Records exist showing that Lower Slaughter has been inhabited for over 1000 years. The Domesday Book entry has the village name as "Sclostre". It further notes that in 1066 and 1086 that the manor was in the sheriff's hands.[1]
Lower Slaughter Manor, a Grade-II listed 17th-century house, was granted to Sir George Whitmore in 1611 and remained in his family until 1964.
The 13th century Anglican parish church is dedicated to St. Mary the Virgin. Much of the current structure was built in 1866; however, the spire and peal of six bells was recently restored.[2]
In May 2013 it was reported in the national news that the Parish Council were fiercely opposed to the presence of an icebox tricycle selling ice creams for seven days a week, six months of the year, citing that the trading times were excessive, increased footfall would prevent the grass from growing and that children could climb on the trike and fall into the nearby river.[3]

Saturday, 16 July 2016

Amberley Castle and Village

Recently I went on a visit to the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu (see previous post) I stayed down south and made a visit to Amberley Castle where I spent the night. Also had a pleasant walk into the local village of Amberley.

Amberley is a village and civil parish in the Horsham District of West Sussex, England.
Amberley is situated at the foot of the South Downs. Its neighbours are Storrington, West Chiltington and Arundel. The village is noted for its many thatched cottages. The house named "The Thatched House" is one of the village's few non-thatched houses.
One of the attractions in Amberley is Amberley Working Museum.
Amberley has its own railway station on the Arun Valley Line, with regular services to Bognor Regis, Portsmouth and London.
To the north of the village is the tidal plain of the River Arun, known as Amberley Wild Brooks. This wetland area is a Site of Special Scientific Interest which floods in winter and is known for its wildfowl. Good views can be had from the Sportsman Pub at the east end of the village, known as crossgates. The Black Horse in the centre of the village often has Morris Dancing in Summer. Amberley also has a castle, which is now a Hotel. The 'castle' is in fact a fortified manor House next to which is a Norman Church, the Parish Church of St Michael.

The Pepper Papers (1899–1978) give an insight into Amberley's history as a producer of Lime, with 1904 correspondence between Peppers and companies interested in shipping Amberley chalk to North America. In 1929-35, a campaign tried to prevent the despoilation of Amberley by the erection of pylons and overhead power cables, looking at the financing of the alternative scheme of laying low tension underground cables. Frank Pepper had regular correspondence with Arthur Rackham who had lived nearby, and John Galsworthy from Bury, West Sussex regarding the campaign to save Bury Coombe. Letters between 1926 and 1959 document claims to a public right of way over a footpath through the Amberley Castle grounds.

Here are a few photos of the castle (hotel) and of the local village.