A sunny, if cold, Easter weekend and we took advantage of the lockdown easing to get out and about for the first time this year. So we headed out to find a small nature reserve that we’d not been to before – Hollybed Farm Meadows. We drove past hordes of people heading for the Malvern Hills, but fortunately Hollybed Meadows were virtually deserted and it felt like we had the reserve to ourselves. The meadows may not be at their best until the summer probably, but now we know how to get there, we will definitely go back later in the year.
The hedgerows were full of blossom; I think this is Blackthorn although I wouldn’t argue if someone says it’s Hawthorn. It was lovely whatever it was.
There were plenty of early spring bees enjoying the blossom, plus one of our favourites – the Dark-edged Bee-fly.
Besides the blossom in the hedgerows, the margins of the field were scattered with a variety of spring flowers (there may have been flowers all over the fields, but we were sticking to the footpaths around the edges). We (tentatively) identified Wood Anemones, Violets (violet and white ones), Cowslips, Celandine and Dead-nettles.
The floral highlight was probably spotting the first bluebells of the year, reminding us to go out later this month and see the carpets of bluebells on the Malverns.
At the far side of the meadows, we went down a bank and were rewarded with the sounds of Chiffchaffs and woodpeckers. We also got lucky with sightings of our first Speckled Woods and Orange Tip butterflies of the year.
Across a small stream we could see a field full of what we assumed to be wild daffodils. I don’t think it was part of the reserve, so we didn’t venture in, but it felt like a field full of spring!
An orchard area was being grazed by the cutest, but scruffiest goats ever.
As we headed back we were treated to a lovely sunny view of the Malvern Hills. We see the hills every day from our garden, but it was really nice to see them from a different perspective. All in all a very pleasant couple of hours and a taste of freedom!