Our top picks for getting outside this spring

By Earth Trust
First published: 19 March 2020

We know that the next few weeks and months will be challenging for lots of us given the spread of coronavirus, but we also know that getting outside is great for our well-being and still possible even with social distancing. Our green spaces are still open and free to access, so we thought we’d share our top things to see at these special places so you can plan your next visit.

  1. Look out for frog and toad spawn – our wardens have already spotted some this year in the ponds at Abbey Fishponds, Little Wittenham Wood, and Wallingford Castle Meadows.
  2. Head to Wallingford Castle Meadows to see snake’s-head fritillaries (Fritillaria meleagris). This beautiful species (pictured above) is only found in a handful of meadows in Southern England and the Midlands, but the numbers flowering at Castle Meadows at the moment suggest it’s doing well here. The orchids will soon be out at Mowbray Fields too, a site nestled in the heart of Didcot and well worth a visit.
  3. Take a walk in the woods. Whether you want to listen to the birds or practice your den building skills, our woodlands have got something for everyone. For a gentler stroll try Neptune Wood, to practise your tree ID skills visit Broad Arboretum, and for a wildlife wander we recommend Little Wittenham Wood which has a little bit of everything.
  4. Go water-side – while it’s probably still a little chilly for picnics, if you fancy a walk along the water then you could try Riverside Meadows or Thrupp Lake. Kingfishers can be seen at both of these sites and may be easier to spot before the leaves completely grow back on the trees.
  5. Get a good view – where better to feel the wind on your face, take a deep breath of fresh air and truly embrace the outdoors than our iconic Wittenham Clumps! Climb to the top for a spectacular view across the landscape.

You can find information on all of our places here, and if you do visit over the next few weeks then please keep in touch and share your photos with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. And if you would like to support Earth Trust during the Covid-19 outbreak then please consider making a donation to help look after these amazing green spaces. Thank you.

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