Laxton Walks: Dawn Chorus

Laxton Walks: Dawn Chorus

News April 8, 2014

On Thursday 1st May, Stuart Rose is joined by Lynda Milner from Notts Wildlife Trust for the very popular ‘Dawn Chorus’ walk. The walk leaves Laxton Castle at around 6.30am to visit all three open fields and identify the birds from their song.

If you think 6.30am sounds early, you will be even more amazed to learn that the event actually begins at around 5.00am when people who are unfamiliar with the route up to Laxton Castle meet Stuart at the Visitor Centre beside the Dovecote Inn. The party then walk up to the castle in time for the sunrise at about 5.25am.

For many years now Retford’s Rattlejag Morris dancers have been coming to Laxton to dance in the May on the castle. In recent years, helped no doubt by some glorious early mornings, the crowds have grown to well over 100 people on a week day and up to 200+ when May 1st fell at the weekend. For which they request a small donation, Rattlejag provide a BBQ breakfast and hot drinks or even a drink from a barrel of beer.

Members of the public are invited to join in a dance around the top of the castle at the end of the festivities. When the dancing is over the walkers set off across the fields.

This is the longest walk of the year, but there are shortcuts back for those who need to get home for work or school. If you hope to complete the full walk, expect to be back in the village for between 9.30 and 10am.

On the 15th May, Stuart is again joined by Lynda to guide walkers round South Field looking at the ancient grassland and studying the wildlife and plants. The sykes (pronounced “six”) are unique areas within this unique farming system where modern practice preserves the wild heritage. These areas were traditionally either very wet land or where the plough was turned around – a practice which continues today. They were and are farmed but never sprayed or fertilised and wild flowers are abundant.

The walk leaves The Dovecote at 7.00pm, returning between 9.00pm and 9.30pm.

Everyone is welcome on these free walks. Please note that beyond the village all walks are through fields, on farm roads and on tracks. Robust footwear is necessary, as is suitable wet or warm outer wear depending on the weather.

Please phone Stuart 07939 228353 for more information.