Sunday, 21 September 2008

First Day of Autumn on the River Ribble

It's the first day of autumn and already the chestnut leaves are turning gold and red, and looking truly gorgeous along the banks of the River Ribble...

... and not only has it finally stopped raining - now summer is officially over...

...we have some lovely sunshine! Better late than never, the summer weather has been awful for the second year running, but luckily for Ribblesiders the River Ribble takes all that rainwater safely out to sea.

The sun has timed itself well as it's harvest time on the new Country Park in Penwortham...

...and it's so beautiful down by the River in the autumn sunshine, and now the rain has stopped at last we can get out and enjoy it without having to drag on wellies and raincoats and huddle under umbrellas...

...although the Ribble always looks beautiful whatever the weather, its waters changing colour with the sky and the turning of the tide and the speed of the water's flow and the amount of silts it is carrying. Happy Autumn Ribbling!

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Tuesday, 2 September 2008

New Wildlife Walks and Talks on the Ribble!

This Wednesday 3rd September there is a Herbal Health Walk starting in Avenham Park, by the new Pavilion next to the River Ribble at 2pm.

"two lovely herbalists will be leading a walk to enjoy the fresh air and scenery and to look at some of the herbs that grow wild in the Avenham Park area and surrounding countryside".

Also, the Preston Birdwatching and Natural History Society have announced their new season of talks - many of which involve our Ribble wildlife!!

Check out their website for further details, and see Save The Ribble for the Ribble Wildlife talk listing in more detail!

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Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Ribbleside Wildlife Walk with Preston Birdwatching & Natural History Society

Calling all Ribblesiders - come and join the Preston Birdwatching & Natural History Society for a wildlife walk on Ribbleside...

The wildlife walk takes place on Monday 21st July and is an evening amble, so the perfect way to end your working day!

They will be leaving the Tram Bridge at 7pm, and then probably wandering through the trees to Vernon's Lodge area, part of the area that will constitute the new South Ribble Country Park.

The Preston Birdwatching & Natural History Society have a number of wildlife experts so they will be able to point out fascinating Ribbleside wildlife along the way.

- And it's free! They expect to be back by the River Ribble by 9.15pm at the latest, but anybody who needed an earlier finish could easily make their own way.

They leave promptly at 7pm, but probably wouldn't take a lot of finding - as they say they don't walk very fast!

Happy Ribbling!

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Sunday, 11 May 2008

Ribble Celebration - Country Park Walk on 18th May

On Sunday 18th May Ribbleside residents will be walking the new South Ribble Country Park to celebrate its new designation.

Starting from the Tram Bridge across the River Ribble at 2pm, we will be walking around the area exploring a number of its fantastic natural habitats, including the River Ribble riverbanks, meadows, ancient woodlands, and Preston Junction Nature Reserve...

Some of the terrain is a little rough, and it does involve a couple of stiles and the occasional mud patch, so this particular walk is unsuitable for wheels - although you could still meet us on the Tram Bridge to join in the celebrations and then set off on your own wheely walk along the Riverside or the Old Tram Road!
Why miss out on a glorious May Day by the Ribble!

Click here for full details of the route etc!

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Friday, 2 May 2008

River Ribble Pleasantries On Preston Guild Wheel Cycle Route

Ben Robinson, Lancashire Evening Post Reporter, got on his bike to try out the proposed route for the Preston Guild Wheel Cycle Route, due to be launched for the next Preston Guild in 2012.
Ben clearly enjoyed the ride - and said that 'the most pleasant part of the ride is to the south, where it follows the banks of the River Ribble before emerging at Avenham & Miller Parks'.

The Guild Wheel Cycle Route is the idea of Peter Ward, former international cyclist, and it is being developed with the help of former Lancashire County Council cycling officer Mike Atkins (who is also involved with SUSTRANS and is working tirelessly to develop the Guild Wheel and other cycling projects in the Preston and South Ribble area).

Although most of the route already exists, and most of it will be "off-road", new improvements and links will see it forming a 21 mile circle around Preston, with "spoke" routes leading into the City centre too.

It will be great for cycling for pleasure, but also fantastic as a commuter route into and out of Preston.

It will link to numerous other cycle and walking routes, including the Ribble Way, and will link together five National Cycle Network (NCN) routes heading to the centre of Preston from Blackburn, Wigan, Southport, Blackpool, and Lancaster.

These and other cycle routes will form the ‘spokes’ of the Guild Wheel. Along the route, cyclists and walkers can visit the Docks, the Bull Nose, Lea, the Ribble Link, Cottam, Tanterton, Broughton, Haighton Top, Cow Hill, Red Scar, Boilton Wood, Brockholes, Fishwick, Frenchwood, Avenham & Miller Parks, and Broadgate, with a long section running along the north bank of the River Ribble.

As Mike Atkins says 'There are not many cities where you can go along the river without crossing traffic'.

There may also be an ‘inner wheel’, to the north of Preston, staying to the south of the M6 and M55.

We think it's a cracking idea!

On yer bike!

Garstang Cycling Club are riding the Guild Wheel on 3rd June!

Other news about forthcoming cycling strategies for Preston.

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Thursday, 17 April 2008

New Ribbleside Country Park Announced for South Ribble!

South Ribble Borough Council have announced that the large stretch of Green Belt running alongside the River Ribble in Penwortham is to receive Country Park status.

Penwortham Green Belt next to the River Ribble in South Ribble.

This new South Ribble Country Park will run from Penwortham to Walton le Dale along the River Ribble, and will also incorporate a broad area running southwards to Lostock Hall, incorporating and expanding the Preston Junction Nature Reserve. This new Country Park also incorporates a significant stretch of the Internationally important intertidal zone of the River Ribble.

Designating this large swathe of the Ribble's Green Belt a Country Park will ensure this area is protected from development in the long term.

South Ribble Borough Council have also announced this week that the River Ribble's riverbanks and all Green Belt will be protected from development throughout South Ribble as part of the forthcoming Regional Spatial Strategy, due to be published later this year, thus ensuring these vitally important habitats are protected in the long term, whether inside or outside the new South Ribble Country Park area.

Of course, a Ribbleside Country Park, immediately opposite Avenham & Miller Parks in Preston and just 5 minutes walk from Preston city centre is not only fantastic for local communities both in Preston and South Ribble, but also for visitors, as this unique area can now become an official part of Britain's newest Regional Park, Ribble Coast & Wetlands, which extends all along the intertidal Ribble from the Irish Sea at Lytham and Southport into the centre of Preston and Penwortham and on to the new Brockholes Wetland.

And the new South Ribble Country Park is of course on the Ribble Way Long Distance Footpath, so will be a fabulous new facility for walkers and ramblers and cyclists exploring the River Ribble, from the Source to the Sea.

Long Live the Ribble - and Ribbleside Green spaces - Wild!

You can find out more about the new South Ribble Country Park designation here.

Find out more about the Ribble Coast & Wetlands Regional Park here.

You can read more about Sustainable Development and Wetlands here.

You can find out more about why the Ribble should hopefully be safe from a tidal barrage now here...

...but also why the River Ribble and its green spaces could still be under threat here.

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Tuesday, 1 January 2008

Midwinter's Day on the Ribble 2007

Midwinter's day 2007, a hoary frost decorates the riverbanks and meadows and woodlands alongside the River Ribble...

...but the Ribble continues to ensure her wildlife survives, those intertidal mudflats replenished by every tide, every day, whatever the season and whatever the weather...

...our over-wintering Redshank joining the Mallards, Teal, Goosander, Moorhens, Lapwings, Cormorants, geese, and many other bird species feeding on the Ribble mudflats...

...and even the Mallard numbers are swelled by their cousins who migrate to the Ribble every winter from Iceland and beyond.

The view from the Old Tram Bridge linking Avenham & Miller Parks to the Penwortham Green Belt also attracts constant visitors whatever the season... does the Old Tram Road itself.

The Heron's stream on the Penwortham Green Belt has solid sheets of ice clothing its banks as the receding tidal waters have frozen in sparkling sheets...

...and the hedgerows and meadows and scrubland are glorious in the wintry sunlight as the frost sparkles and glitters... old seed heads the aspect of exotic winter flowers...

...and highlighting the Holly with rimes of frost...

Yet signs of Spring are already unmistakeable, and absurdly early as the Willow catkin buds have already begun to emerge, their silken silvery sheen a strange echo of the frosted buds around them.

The hoary frost crunches underfoot on the meadows and riverbanks...

...glittering and sparkling in the Midwinter sunlight...

...and the autumn leaves rotting in the undergrowth give a new pleasure to the eye as they are highlighted by the thousands of perfect crystals which trace their veins and shapes anew...

And as the sun sets over the Ribble on the shortest day, the Herons soak up the weak wintry sunshine...

...and the River Ribble flows by, as she has always done...

Long Live the Ribble Wild!

Apologies if you are still waiting for further installments of our adventures walking The Ribble Way, but we've been very busy spending time by the Ribble and Saving The Ribble to Blog the Ribble! I will, however, get the next installment of our Ribble Way Adventures on here soon...

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