Being quiet isn’t really a strong characteristic of my trio, so Titchfield Haven is a place I have never ventured to before, despite being on my doorstep. Our little lady has had a brief excursion there with her Rainbow unit a few years ago, but no time to linger, as she likes to do. As I only had our little lady today, being Mamma Day, we decided to explore Titchfield Haven. I allowed us four hours for the adventure (which included ice cream time 🙂 ). The Reserve covers a large amount of the Meon Valley and includes a range of natural habitats; river, fen, pools, reedbeds, and meadows. Buying a reserve ticket can give you access to 2 trails (one up the east side of the river and one up the west side) and seven hides…this is where the family problem of being quiet prohibits all three enjoying this at the moment. The hides are very quiet with some very serious spotters in them, and the last thing we need is my three exuberant non whispering children materialising, and emptying out the whole reserve of wildlife! Us 2 girls had a lovely meander though, and by the end she was saying “ssshhhhh” to me!
We did the Titchfield Haven boardwalk trail (1.5km) first. This goes through wooded marshland, obviously with a few fairies as residents too looking at the subtly hidden doorways! There are four hides, and she got very excited and saw quite a bit for her first visit. She saw comorants, seagulls (hhmmmm, that’s not too surprising!), Canada geese, mallard ducks, magpies, pheasants, robins, coots, oyster catchers, and moorhens. These birds are quite common, but not for a little girl sat in one place to suddenly see them all together. She was disappointed she didn’t see a kingfisher, but I think we need a lot more sitting still patience to be able to spot one, and they move very fast.
After a brief ice cream stop, we then meandered up the west Scrapes Trail (2km). Along here were thousands of nesting seagulls. She also was rather taken watching a family of Canada Geese, complete with 6 fluffy chicks, wander around nibbling the grass before heading into the water for a dip and back out again.
Titchfield Haven was a fantastic place to visit and she wished she could have stayed longer. It cost me £2 entrance for her, but at £3 for years membership we soon upgraded. This means I can pop in with her whenever we can. The adults yearly membership is £40 and would mean at least 10 visits to break even, but the child’s yearly one for £3 was well worth doing. Our little lady was fascinated with the wildlife, and has since been filling out her own spotter book she has. She enjoyed the peace and tranquillity as well.