A Cotswold Year - Charting the seasons in the South Cotswolds

Friday 25 February 2011


Its nice to walk in company sometimes even on a wet day like this when we joined South Cotswold Ramblers in Woodchester Park

Wednesday 23 February 2011

Hazel Catkins

Hazel Catkins are now at their peak with impressive displays common like this one in Woodchester Park

Tuesday 22 February 2011


Early daffodils have started to bloom in some sheltered parts of the Cotswolds although more exposed parts such as our garden will have to wait a few weeks yet.

Sunday 20 February 2011

Ewes and Lambs

Seeing lambs out in the fields always makes it feel like spring is here.

Saturday 19 February 2011

Farmer's Market

This morning our trip to Stroud included the Farmer's Market and it was good to see so many stalls selling vegetables, grown locally and in season.
We also purchased some traditional Godsells Double Gloucester cheese. It is lovely to buy direct from the producers of a large variety of wares.

We are lucky to live so near Stroud Farmer's Market as it is reputed to be the biggest, busiest and most popular one in the UK. It is held every Saturday from 9am until 2pm.

Wednesday 16 February 2011

Coots fighting

Coots that have lived together peacefully through the winter are now becoming more aggressive as they set up breeding territories. Many of the coots we see in winter are migrants but now the resident coots are keen to drive the visitors out and reestablish their territories

Tuesday 15 February 2011

Rooks Nesting

Rooks are now building their nests in colonies called Rookeries. The old country saying is "When in the trees the rooks build high expect the summer to be warm and dry"
I think this may be wishful thinking as they usually do build in treetops. There are many old sayings about rooks. If they suddenly leave there will be a death and if they line up on a fence it will rain.
Their habit of flying straight back to their roosts from feeding grounds some distance away is said to be the origin of the saying "As the crow flies" as country people did not usually distinguish between crows and rooks.

Monday 14 February 2011

Valentine's Day

Love is in the air with this pair of mute swans displaying classic courtship behaviour today at Slimbridge WWT.

Sunday 13 February 2011

Winter stone damage

The combination of winter rain and frosts causes damage to exposed limestone in the old quarries as this freshly fallen slab shows.
Traditional Cotswold stone buildings also suffer so maintenance of guttering and roof gullies is vital as when water seeps into cracks and freezes the stone can split.

Saturday 12 February 2011

Greener fields

Mild weather this week has started to give the fields a much greener appearance as the grass starts to grow.

Thursday 10 February 2011

New Trees

We hear a lot about the loss of trees and woodland but in our area new woods are often planted. In these fields on the edge of the Cotswolds new saplings are protected in plastic tubes to encourage growth.

Wednesday 9 February 2011

Ancient Oak

Ancient Oaks tend to shed branches and become hollow. If this did not happen the tree would just becomes too heavy and topple so in this way the oaks are able to live to a great age of many hundreds of years.

Sunday 6 February 2011


The snowdrops are now at their peak and stand up straight despite the blustery conditions of the last few days. We have many clumps which brighten up the garden especially in the wilder areas as above where we leave them undisturbed. On roadside verges in Gloucestershire they welcome the spring where residents have planted them over the years. Snowdrops are easy to transplant when they are "in the green", that is once the flowers have finished and the leaves are still green. Each little bulbs eventually then forms another clump.

Saturday 5 February 2011

Winter Gales

Gale force winds have caused trees to fall. We heard this one fall yesterday and were relieved that the noise was not part of our house falling. It looks like the tree was coming to the end of it's life anyway but it is always sad to see them fallen.

Tuesday 1 February 2011

Rough Grazing

Traditional Cotswold limestone grass land with its abundance of wildflowers depends on grazing to prevent the encroachment of longer grass and scrub.

The National Trust owns the land adjacent to Coaley Peak and is using traditional breeds of cattle such as the Galloway to clear the long grass.

They have been released this weekend to start their task.