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ShareMondays2018 – On The Boardwalk

Common Lizard

ShareMondays2018 – On The Boardwalk

I had a fantastic meet-up with Natural England National Nature Reserve managers, Leo and James, last week at Thursley Common NNR in Surrey. I think coming around with me in my wheelchair was a bit of a revelation to them both, as they discovered how so many little things that you just wouldn’t notice on a ramble, can become the most frustrating obstacles when you’re on wheels or have reduced mobility. We have made some good plans to improve access on the main way-marked paths, increase signs, add disabled parking, add Braille and embossed symbols to signposts, create more passing areas on the boardwalks, firm up the bridleway surface at crossing points, investigate installing more seats and rest points, addition of more railings on certain parts of the boardwalk and getting regular visitors to report any obstacles or loose boards directly to the ranger. Phew!! That’s a lot of work. Some of it should be reasonably easy to get done but with only a few rangers and a big reliance on volunteer workparties, many of our plans could take some time to achieve.

I’ve got my own set of tasks to be getting on with! Plenty of research to start with. One big goal is to actually create a PDF downloadable map. I think that would help all visitors to Thursley, not just those of us with disabilities. After all, getting totally lost is actually pretty disabling for anyone! So, I’m looking forward to meeting with Leo and James again, as well as with others who could help us in this project and I absolutely can’t wait to visit Thursley again! For now it will have to be with some assistance but there is a clear path ahead of us. Earlier today, BBC Springwatch retweeted a quick-edit photo I had taken of a tiny common lizard spotted on the Boardwalk at Thursley so I shall lead this post with a full edit of a larger, adult lizard spotted on the very same Boardwalk. This one’s for ShareMondays2018 and the Wex Mondays challenges. A gallery of more seen from the boardwalk is below:

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Under A Pier Under Repair

Under Swanage Pier

Under A Pier Under Repair

Last Saturday, Simon and I went down to Swanage Pier in Dorset to do a few dives. We hadn’t realised that a huge restoration project had begun! Diving is still going on though, with a few safety guidelines in place. Visibility underwater for photography wasn’t particularly great, probably only about a metre, in fact it made navigating our dives pretty tricky! Couldn’t resist having a look at the work going on on the piles and timbers of the pier as we made our way back in. A total of 41 piles are being completely replaced! A massive undertaking but with experts in the field carrying out the work the Swanage Pier Trust hope for it to be completed by August. I can’t wait to see the Marine Villas renovated to create a new, accessible visitor centre with exhibition space, shop, caf√© and a glazed extension. Hopefully the pier will continue to bring joy to visitors above and below for years to come! This is my entry for this week’s Fotospeed fsprintmonday challenge. I will include a few from underwater, see if you can spot the giant spider crab!

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ShareMondays2018 – Emerald

Downy Emerald Dragonfly

ShareMondays2018 – Emerald

Downy Emerald Dragonflies are found mostly in the South of England. They’re on the wing now at Thursley Common National Nature Reserve. I was able to watch a number of them flying around the edge of The Moat Pond next to the reserve car park. They’re very territorial and quite mesmerising to watch, darting about with the metallic greens and golds flashing in the sunlight! I’m sharing this image today for ShareMondays2018 and the Wex Mondays challenges. Good luck to everyone taking part!

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ShareMondays2018 – The Dell

The Dell

ShareMondays2018 – The Dell

A multiple exposure with ICM (in camera movement) to convey the magic of bluebell woods for this week’s ShareMondays and Fotospeed challenges.