At the weekend we visited one of our favourite walks, Westfield Pill Nature Reserve, Neyland Marina.
Visit Westfield Pill, Neyland Marina
You can access Westfield Pill Nature Reserve from Neyland Marina (Sat Nav Postcode: SA73 1PY). There are free parking spaces available and ample cycle routes leading to this location. We’ve found Neyland Marina to be a lot busier than usual since lockdown but there are always parking spaces available.
The girls love cycling here but they’re all currently in need of new bikes. We’re waiting until we’ve built our shed to invest in new bikes. Meanwhile, we were very fortunate and a friend asked Dave if these folding bikes would be useful for the kids- they’re perfect (thank you so much!). They’re small enough to store inside the house until we get the shed sorted and so easy to pop into the car to take the kids for a bike ride. The girls were delighted to be able to cycle on this path again! We are very grateful for them.
The path is very popular with cyclists as it’s part of the 14km Westfield Trail, from Johnston to Brunel Quay. As a walker, it pays to always be listening and looking out for cyclists as you enjoy this walk. I need to get bells for the girl’s bikes so they can warn walkers ahead. They took it slowly on this ride so they had plenty of time to stop for pedestrians.
The path is gorgeous at all times of the year, as you can see it’s currently changing into its autumn outfit.
The trail is filled with an abundance of wildlife and we see something different each time we visit. No walk is ever the same.
As I mentioned earlier the whole trail is 14km. We usually just walk the Westfield Pill part of the trail. Some days we walk from Neyland Marina to Water Lane and back again, and other days we spend more time watching the ponds than walking. It’s all good for the soul.
Waterside walks are beautiful, aren’t they? I love seeing the beautiful view and the clouds in the sky reflected in the lake.
Grey Squirrels Versus Red Squirrels
As you know, we love to feed the birds at Westfield Pill. I think the squirrels are well fed too. They’re quite tame. It’s also quite usual to see a rabbit or mouse run across the path and into the hedge.
When we visited Whinfell Forest, many years ago, we learnt about the reintroduction and conservation of Britain’s original native squirrels, the Red Squirrels. If you spot a grey squirrel in the conservation area, you have to report it. It’s illegal to release captured grey squirrels into the wild. Grey squirrels are a threat to their red cousins through disease (the squirrelpox virus) and competition for food.
I realise it’s not possible, but I wish the squirrel cousins could live together happily! There are currently very few red squirrels in Wales. The three focal populations in Wales are on Anglesey, in the Clocaenog Forest in north Wales and in mid-Wales. I think we should go red squirrel spotting in Wales one day!
As I’ve grown up seeing grey squirrels in Pembrokeshire, I love them and am always happy to see them. The late Great Nanny Critten loved squirrels and had a huge squirrel ornament collection, so each time we see a squirrel, we think of her.
Feeding the Ducks
As the kids were happy going ahead on their bikes, it was left to us adults to feed the ducks and swans. I have a feeling as all the kids grow older, a lot of the “kid’s jobs” will fall to us.
I love that I can still feed the ducks with my mum at forty!
Usually, the waters are full of ducks and the swans at Westfield Pill appear as soon as they see humans with potential food. They were initially hiding from us during this visit but eventually, they came, as they always do.
Can you spot the heron in the photo above? Sorry, it’s not clear, I need to start bringing my zoom lens out on these nature walks again. There is a better photo of herons at Westfield Pill here (sadly not mine!).
I hope I don’t bore you but I have a few posts about Westfield Pill to write up. I did think of mixing them up and using the best photos from each visit, but I know that in the future when I look back at these posts, I appreciate seeing the different visits.
Have you visited Westfield Pill? What wildlife did you spot there?