18-Sep-2009 -- Continued from 54°N 1°W.
We spent four weeks in the United Kingdom visiting cousins. As well, we managed to visit eight confluence sites to add to those we've visited back home in Canada and some in the United States. This is the fourth of eight visits in the UK.
It was another beautiful sunny September day with a temperature of 25°C. On the edge of the village of Lowdham we turned off the A6097 onto Cottage Pasture Lane. We stopped on the narrow lane and Alan talked to a man who was trimming the hedge in front of his house. The man was interested in what we were doing and very helpful. He let Gerald leave the car behind his while we searched for our second British confluence on the 53rd Latitude.
We walked a short distance along Cottage Pasture Lane to a bridge crossing over Cocker Beck. On the far side we encountered a locked gate - some of us clambered up the dirt bank of the beck and ducked through the barbed wire fence next to the gate. Another climbed over the gate. We then walked along a track bordered by Cocker Beck and a barbed wire fence on one side and wild flowers and bushes on the other. A bunny ran along the far side of the beck then scurried into the undergrowth. We all climbed over another locked gate and eventually ended up beside a cultivated field. Alan and Gerald walked out onto the tilled soil with their GPSs and located the confluence without too much trouble. We took photos from the spot across the cultivated field in the various directions.
Around the perimeter of the entire field was a section of wild grasses and plants next to the trees. Joyce explained that they are conservation strips left purposely for wildlife use. Whereas farmers used to cultivate the soil right up to the edges of hedges or trees, conservation efforts such as these strips are used to provide better living conditions and survival rates for wildlife. We could hear many birds singing happily in this area.
Many of the bushes and trees here were covered with ripe berries. Joyce knows her berries and since I was unfamiliar with some of them, she was able to identify them all for me. There were Blackberries, Elder Berries, Hawthorn Berries and Wild Rose Hips. These berries will provide food for birds and other wildlife this winter. We noticed that some of the trees were beginning to show their Autumn colours.
Back on Cottage Pasture Lane, the man who was hedge trimming was interested to know how we made out with our search. After visiting with him awhile, he took our photo for us and we continued on our travels.
Next is 53°N 2°W