COOMBES VALLEY NATURE RESERVE was the destination of the clubs July walk.
Thirteen proved to be far from an unlucky number, for that was how many of us enjoyed this high Summer foray into this woodland that lies at the heart of the Churnet Valley.
I am pleased to say that although we are always happy to be joined by members friends and family it was especially gratifying to have the PROBUS members out numbering the others,their being eight members and five wives.
Coombes Valley Nature Reserve offers an amazing variety of wildlife. The RSPB bought land at Coombes Valley in 1962 they now manage 112 hectares of woodland, pasture and hay meadow.
There are thousands of species of birds, mammals, insects plants and fungus offering a very diverse habitat. There are many paths and nature trails to observe this abundant area. Although we saw and heard very little of the fauna I suspect it was because we were making too much noise ourselves.
We managed to complete two of the trails, both the Valley Woodland trail and the Woodcock trail, stopping to admire the various view points along the route. We were surprised to see that the pond was virtually dry.
With the sun blazing down and the temperature in the mid 20s it was quite a relief to have shelter under the trees, although some of the inclines were taxing, everyone managed easily and all enjoyed the walk.
After two hours we were back at the car park to make the journey back to Leek and lunch reserved at the White Lion. The White Lion is located next to Leek Town Football Club and has an excellent menu, here we were joined by four who could not manage the walk but who wanted to have lunch with us. I think all will agree that the food was delicious, promptly served and more than enough, definitely recommend!