Croft Hill and Nature Trail – my daily exercise walk – by Sue Walton

Croft Hill and Nature Trail

Hello everyone, I hope you are well and keeping safe. As my daily exercise I am walking up Croft Hill and around the nature trail every day. Croft quarry is the deepest granite quarry in Europe and still working today, I know this as I’ve been watching the trucks bringing up the stone from the deepest part.


The weather has been so lovely these last few weeks and the birds have been singing their hearts out, Robins, Blackbirds, Song Thrush, Chiffchaff, Willow Warblers, Blackcaps to name but a few. The Buzzards and Carrion Crows are filling the sky and although I have not seen the Peregrines I am told they are nesting on the quarry face.


My route takes me through the trees, which are full of blossom, and through a small bluebell patch, and on up to the trig point. From here the views are pretty spectacular on a clear day, Croft Hill being the only high point around. It’s then down and along the bank, which is now full of mature trees and shrubs, here I sometimes see a pair of Jay’s and often Green Woodpecker and just in the last week or so lots of Whitethroat. Listen to the following video clip of the bird song – what can you identify?

At the far end it’s down the steps to the boardwalk and along to the lake. I don’t usually see much there, just a Moorhen, but there are Sedge warbler singing now and more than one too.


A pair of swans are nesting along the river and once I caught the flash of a Kingfisher.


On my way back home it’s really noticeable the lack of traffic on the road and planes in the sky, but great to see that nature is in full swing. I set the app on my phone the other day and my walk is three and a half miles and usually takes me around an hour and a quarter. Now I’m slightly ashamed to admit this but I don’t take my binoculars with me, just my phone as I try to keep up a good pace! Hopefully once the lockdown eases I will go on a proper birding walk and take my time.

Take care everyone,