A Walk on The K&A

This morning I had planned to go on a walk in Savernake but waking up to thick fog persuaded me that staying in my warm bed was a better option. So this afternoon myself, the wife, daughter and dog headed off to Great Bedwyn for a stroll along the Kennet and Avon Canal to Wilton Water. This is a section that I haven’t walked before and it is quite an interesting stretch. There is an interesting selection of boats moored at Great Bedwyn, some traditional narrowboats, some widebeams and a few converted working boats. It is also the base of the Bruce Trust who offer canal holidays for disabled and disadvantaged people http://www.brucetrust.org.uk/. The walk passed under four bridges and past four locks. With the railway just across the water there were also trains to be seen although there were only GWR 125’s today. There were quite a few birds around although not a great variety with a total of twenty species seen or heard. A Heron on the far bank of the canal didn’t move as we passed, intent on it’s quest for food. A couple of small flocks of Blue and Great Tits moved past and a number of Goldfinches were feeding high up. A Jay flew off ahead of us and a Water Rail squealed from a patch of reeds. Crofton Lock House was passed and we noticed it had no road access. An internet search later on revealed that it is off grid and its power is provided by wind and sun and it has its own water supply, not from the canal I hope. At Crofton Lock there is a smallholding with several pigs which possibly were Berkshires. On reaching Wilton Water we were at the summit of the canal and opposite to the Beam Engines. We had brought drinks and cakes with us so sat by the lock to enjoy them. A scan of Wilton Water found a good few more birds than were here the other day adding another five species to the tally. Around thirty Gadwall, many Mallards and Canada Geese, fourteen Little Grebes and a few Coot and Moorhens. Then it was time to retrace our steps back to the car. The Heron was still around but this time on our bank and it moved along three times as we approached before crossing back to the far bank. In all the walk was a gentle although sometimes muddy four miles.

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