One of the many joys of living here is the sheer variety of wildlife we see every day. Last week these were just some of the amazing birds and mammals that paid us a visit. Our Great Spotted Woodpecker visitors are a pair that had at least one fledging last year.

One of favourite children’s books is Rebecca the Woodpecker

Rebecca the Woodpecker  is a beautifully written rhyming tale about a woodpecker who is very different from all the other birds, because she is actually made out of wood! Rebecca’s mother created her out of a tree stump by pecking and pecking at it, until Rebecca appeared and magically came to life.

This is a really lovely picture book for children with wonderful illustrations and a lovely message about how being different is so very special.

A young Roe Deer that visits and enjoys eating the bramble leaves in our wood

Roe deer are fairly frequent visitors here and during the autumn we were excited to see a doe and her fawn walking up the track behind the Book Warren; this youngster may well have been that fawn?

As with so many places in the UK, here in our little piece of heather clad heaven there are countless forgotten tracks, drove ways, turnpikes, coffin roads and lost paths. Routes trodden by countless generations. A bit of time spent researching enabled us to identify the tracks on old maps of our area.

‘Reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland’ 

Above, this map clearly shows a trackway curving up the hill behind Dalpeddar Cottage. The road in front with another partial track is evident bottom left, was the one used by Dorothy Wordsworth as highlighted in our first post. Anyone with an interest in finding out more about how these, often ancient, routes were created and why should read The Hidden Ways by Alistair Moffat he writes “All around me I felt the ghosts of an immense past, I heard their whispers and I smiled when they walked by my side through the fields and woods. I relished the companionship of the dead”. Alistair Moffat was born in Kelso, Scotland in 1950. He is an award-winning writer, historian and Director of Programmes at Scottish Television, former Director of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, and former Rector of the University of St Andrews. He is the founder of Borders Book Festival and Co-Chairman of The Great Tapestry of Scotland.

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