Save The Ribble

A blog dedicated to preserving the beauty and delicate ecosystem of the River Ribble, and opposing the Riverworks 'vision' to build a barrage on our River and develop on our riverbanks, floodplains and green spaces, causing damage to wildlife and the environment and increasing the risk of flooding to our homes. Save the Ribble Campaign is not responsible for the content of external blogs or websites which link here.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Tales from the Riverbank: Rippling Ribble, Bluebells and Birdsong...


River Ribble at low tide in the spring sunshine...


...and bluebells in Carr Wood, Penwortham, just minutes walk away from Preston City Centre.

Despite a disappointingly wet day, a hardy group of Ribblesiders went for a Bluebell and Birdsong walk along the River Ribble and through the Penwortham "Ribbleside" Country Park on the first Bank Holiday in May...


- and it's not too late to enjoy the glorious sights and sounds of Spring by the Ribble yourself this weekend or during half-term...

The Bluebells in Carr Wood were at their very best at the beginning of May, and whilst these will be fading now, the birds will still be singing and the sunlight still be dappling through the trees in the Ribbleside woodlands...


...and along the Old Tram Road...





The Ribbleside meadows are lush with wetland grasses and wildflowers, and the trees and hedgerows burgeoning with blossoms and birdsong...





- and even on a wet May afternoon the Ribble and its green spaces are genuinely glorious...






After several rather wet, dull and miserable days the sun finally came out again yesterday in time for a gorgeous evening stroll by the Ribble, where the river was moving along deceptively quickly with its smooth surface as it has been swollen by all the rain from the last few days...



Whilst the pictures might reveal just some of the glories of rambling by the Ribble, the one thing we can't capture is the sounds - of the waters flowing by or of the BIRDS SINGING all around us - and spring really is the best time to hear our hedgerow and meadow-dwelling birds in their full glory, so get down to the Ribble and the new Country Park on the Penwortham bank this week to hear them for yourself!



On the Preston bank the first of the Horse chestnuts have been felled in Avenham & Miller Park which is a sad sight to see...


This is due to their being diseased apparently, but hopefully the replacement trees will make up for their loss eventually - although we are unlikely to see them in their full glory as they will of course take a good number of years to mature to the same extent as the Horse Chestnuts and Elms, planted by the far-sighted Victorians, have in recent decades.

In the meantime, there are of course still many of the Horse Chestnuts still standing, so enjoy them while you can, and there are many different types of tree and habitat to enjoy all along the Ribble and its green spaces.
One of the more humble of our native trees has to be the Hawthorn, yet in May it is in its full glory all over the Penwortham banks, especially in the hedgerows lining the meadows on the Ribbleside Country Park...



...the meadows are wild with flowers and may blossom, and there are butterflies and bees and hundreds of other insects making full use of them...





...and there is rather an abundance of midges along the Ribble at the moment...


(midges!)
...made infinitely less unpleasant by the many dozens of accompanying swifts swooping and soaring overhead as they tuck into those millions of midges...


(swifts!!)

...although the swifts are almost impossible to photograph as they are so incredibly fast!
Before the swifts have quitened for the evening, the first bats are also out, joining the swifts in their feast.

As we walked slowly back alongside the Ribble towards Penwortham Old Bridge, the sun was setting over the river and we were accompanied by the hooting of an owl in the trees on the Penwortham bank...



...bliss!!

We have had a number of comments and photos sent in over recent weeks from other Ribbleside residents, and will posting these on the blog after this bank holiday week, so watch this space, and do send in more stories, comments, and pictures if you would like your own Tales from the Riverbank to be included!

In the meantime, Happy Ribbling!

You can contact us at savetheribble@tiscali.co.uk

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"The care of rivers is not a question of rivers, but of the human heart" Tanako Shozo Save The Ribble Logo