Last Sunday, we went for a winter's walk at Withybush Woods. It's such a handy walk. There is a free car park on the right just before Puffin Produce (SA62 4BS). There is a tarmacked circular walk suitable for buggies and wheelchairs, but walkers can continue on a longer more rugged walk if they wish. There are lots of picnic benches and seating along the walk too, so it's great for all ages, families and dog walkers.
It's a beautiful walk which looks different in every season.
The kids prefer to wander off the beaten track, climbing over tree trunks and squelching through the boggy parts. We had to convince them to return to the path rather than wade through the stream which they would have been more than happy to do (I would have let them if it didn't lead to a deep pond!).
When we reached the pond, we were in for a lovely surprise. Last year, only one swan inhabited this pond. It was said that due to the water flow, no other swans were able to join him and he couldn't swim out to join other swans. Well, this year, a family of six, two adults and four cygnets are there (I couldn't tell you for sure if it is still the original swan or not, but I'd like to think so).
The man feeding the swans was very kind and let the girls feed some grain to the swans too. They were delighted as we hadn't brought any food of our own. This post contains more information on the best food for wild swans. As there were six swans, the kids named them after our family, Mummy, Daddy, Danny, Rebecca, Caitlyn and Isabelle.
While we fed the swans, Dave and Danny explored further into the woods!
On the bridge we managed to get our January photo for the Me and Mine Project.
Then we wandered deeper into the woods. Jo did really well and managed the muddy, unstable part of the walk with a little help.
The kids love this part and played with the tree stumps and low branches.
Tree stumps become climbing frames.
Woodland banks become slides.
Logs become seats.
Branches make good hammocks/seats too. Izzy wasn't too pleased when her sister came and shared the comfortable branch with her though!
Danny is at his most happiest when climbing trees and branches.
I'm in awe at how easily kids walk and balance along thin branches. They make it look so easy. They balanced, swung, turned and jumped on them so skilfully (I can see them becoming trapeze artists in the circus). Sadly, I was never this graceful, even as a child.
We left the clearing and walked back to the main path.
The walk takes you back, this time on the other side of the pond, so we caught a glimpse of the swans again.
This giant fallen tree always provides a climbing frame and seat for the kids. They've enjoyed many a picnic and snack in this spot.
Not content with naming the swans after us, each bud was named after a family member too!
The kids then noticed dirt bikes racing in the next field so they went through the hedge to take a look.
A pond of foam!
Some daffodils were very nearly out (they've already been out for a few weeks in mum's garden).
Then it was time to play hide and seek behind trees and log piles.
Then a walk back to the car. As we reached the entrance, a man was training his dogs to jump over the gate ready for agility training. The dogs cleared the high gate easily-I wish I'd taken a photo but at least we got to enjoy the moment.
It was a lovely walk around Withybush Woods and will be interesting to come again in Spring and see water lilies back on the pond, as well as bluebells and new woodland flowers in bloom. Here is a post about a Summer Walk at Withybush woods-it looks so lush in comparison.