Grove Ferry and Stodmarsh Nature Reserve (Part 1)
One Friday at the end of July, I took a day off work and chose somewhere new to visit – Grove Ferry Picnic Site and Stodmarsh National Nature Reserve. Located in north Kent, in the Stour valley, the two are adjacent to one another, though it took me some time to figure out exactly where the Reserve was! There are a number of different footpaths in the area, though without maps (note to self: be more prepared next time), I found myself doing a lot of wandering. Not that I’m complaining; it was great to have the time and space to do just that!
The picnic site itself is situated next to the River Stour and offers both attractive scenery and, for those who are so inclined, boat trips. The Reserve itself has the largest reed bed in south east England; this is carefully managed so it remains an attractive home to a variety of birds and insects. There are several hides on the site, though without the appropriate camera lens, I decided to stay outside and photograph the scenery instead of its inhabitants. Frequently the tall grasses seemed to tower over me, and some of the paths were clearly little used, but that all added to the sense of being in a truly natural environment.
I have done my best to convey something of the place in my images. As usual, they are in a gallery; clicking on any of them will give you a closer look. Part 2 will follow soon!