A Tranquil Scene

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One of the many advantages of having such a beautiful natural resource such as the Wom Brook flowing through Wombourne is to catch the occasional glimpse of harmonious scenes such as the one featured above-a pair of Mallard ducks peacefully paddling upstream quite contentedly, unfettered by the daily worries that so often occupy our lives.

Despite the close proximity of cars, dogs and people, these wild animals continue to make use of the Brook, and are a frequent sight at various stages along the Brook.

Cut or ploughed?

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Although the above photograph is now a little out of date (it was recorded about a fortnight ago), it is nonetheless still relevant, and applies to that part of the Brook walk today.

It was taken shortly after the regular grass-cutting contractors had completed their first cut of the season. Unfortunately that section of the Brook Walk retains water, and even today, after comparatively small amounts of rainfall, the section in question is still damp and soft. Contractors are in a difficult position-they are tasked to cut areas of grassland, regardless of weather conditions or the state of the ground.

However, as the grass-cutting team makes use of a smaller, more manoeuvrable machine, wouldn’t it be better if they utilised the lighter machine in that area?

Regrettably, that first cut also was quite a severe one. Local people are quite used to seeing the uncut ‘triangle’ of ground between the footbridge and the entrance to the Railway Walk, but there are areas bordering the Brook margins that have been previously been left uncut, in order to create an intermediate ‘growing zone’ between mown grassland and woodland.

The reason for this? To encourage the growth of plants that favour slightly sheltered environs, and in turn, these encourage small eco-systems to develop, attracting different species of butterflies for example. Last year, we witnessed a few examples of Cuckoo Flower / Lady’s Smock ( scientific name-Cardamine Pratensis. Please click on this link to see an example.)
These were to be found growing in amongst these margins. However, as the time rapidly approaches when these flowers usually become visible, their growing areas have been mistakenly cut back this year.