It was a beautiful warm morning. So, I decided to explore the marshes to the southwest of Grove Ferry. Stod, or originally, and sometimes still known as, Stud Marsh is a really important nature reserve. There are a number of birds in particular, insects, especially dragonflies, otters and even beavers living there. The reedbed is one of the largest in the country. The reeds are over 6’ in places.
The area was originally called Stud Marsh as it was used to graze horses. St. Augustine landed here on his way to converting the natives to Christianity. Mining in the area put paid to the grazing of animals. Shallow lakes appeared which attracted many birds and the reedbeds grew. Today, the biggest issue is the pollution of the waterways by the local water treatment works.
Before I set out, I made a point of determining the extent of the walk. I didn’t want to be caught out again! I worked out that the round trip would be no more than three and a half miles. The footpaths are well defined and easygoing; a really easy walk for anyone.
Along the way, I met a few birdwatchers with cameras equipped with those huge telescopic lenses. I spent time chatting to some.
One of the many observation hides
Shaggy Ink Caps
The walk took me eventually through a small area of woodland
to a large lake teeming with life,
then on to the bank of the River Great Stour, which I followed back to Grove Ferry.