A Walk Around Trentham Gardens

A walk that I certainly wouldn't have paid for!

For day 5 of 30 Days Wild, I went to Trentham Gardens. I blogged very briefly over on this post, but I wanted to share more from that day with you all. Anneka was there to run the Race for Life 5k but, as I have no interest in sports, I decided that while she was doing that I would walk around the lake and Italian Gardens to see what I could see. There are a lot of photos, so I wont be doing much narrating! (As always, you can tap or click the photos to enlarge them.)

Once I'd gotten away from the race area, I saw these dandelions:

One had an agile fairy on!

The fairies which are dotted all around the gardens are creating by Robin Wight, who is a local artist. You can also see Robin's work at Cotton Dell. A little farther along were some geese with their goslings:

Some flowers along the path:

A hungry squirrel and its mate:

A crow:

A coot and some ducks:

A wooden carving of a beetle:

A information sign (about something that no longer exists in any form!):

Another fairy:

Then there were these rather unusual pods hanging from a wire in the trees. I have no idea what they are supposed to be, as I cannot find any information on the website:

This next sign amused and disappointed in equal measure:

There seems to have been no work carried out whatsoever in that area... Also, the term 'invasive weeds' bugged me. Lots of weeds are invasive, which is one of the reasons we call them weeds and not plants - but invasive is a very subjective term. I think they should provide more information here.

By the weir there was this fish sculpture:

Then an information board about the 'Wetlands' was farther along. I didn't have time to venture into this area though:

A magpie nearby:

There were lots of swans on the lake at different points. This is one of them:

For me though, the most exciting thing I saw was this lesser stag beetle - which slightly edged out the fairies in terms of excitement (and these were really the only two things I got excited about...)

It was near the edge of the path and, as the runners were due shortly, in great danger of being squished. I took some photos and then moved it back into the woodland, well away from the path. I couldn't bare the thought of this wonderful creature being trampled to death by a rampaging mob!

Then there were some more swans:

Another fairy:

Shortly after, a flock of geese flew overhead, making a lot of noise:

There is a miniature railway station:

And another fairy (the pink ribbon is for the race):

Then shortly after, the stampede arrived and I stepped aside so I didn't take the same risk as the lesser stag beetle was taking! Wifey showed up:

After the mob had gone, I made my way to the Italian gardens. There were lots of flowers, but a noticeable absence of any pollinators other than bees... No moths, butterflies or flies (of any description.) Considering the potential that this area has, I found this to be extremely disappointing. Having looked on the Trentham website, the gardens are planted with colour schemes in mind, but there is no mention of pollinators anywhere on the website. I even searched and there is nothing:

There were lots of flowers and grasses:

These were very tall indeed:

The Trellis Walk:

More flowers in the gardens:

I watched one of the fountains for a while, taking photos of the different shapes as it danced:

The top area:

The Loggia and 50p piece:

This has to be some sort of joke, right?

After I'd got a photo of the 50p, the race was more-or-less over, so I headed back to the finishing area to meet Anneka.

I have to say, given the huge potential this place has, I was underwhelmed by it all. All of the wildlife I saw you can see in other places for free; there were a distinct lack of pollinators; and even the woodlands are a bit too 'managed'. There are also the ruins of Trentham Hall which really annoyed me. The current owners have owned the estate since 1996, but the hall and other architecturally important buildings have been untouched and left to rot. It's such a shame.

Ordinarily I wouldn't have bothered going here, but it was free on the evening because of the race. Entrance is usually £12!

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