RSPB Coombes Valley and Consall Woods
“The enthusiastic and informative welcome provided by the reception volunteer, and the friendly approach by other staff encountered during the visit made for a particular highlight.” - VisitEngland Assessor
Coombes Valley is a wonderful woodland reserve. It’s perfect for nature enthusiasts to explore and for families to have fun and play together outdoors. This is a delightful oak woodland to walk through – especially in spring and early summer when lots of migrating birds come to breed at the reserve, including flycatchers, redstarts and wood warblers. There are a wide variety of butterflies to spot too. In winter, redwings, fieldfares and winter finches are regular visitors. There's a fascinating nature trail here, so the reserve is a good place for people of all ages to get closer to nature, although the footpaths are steep in places.
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About The area
It was Staffordshire that bore the brunt of the largest non-nuclear explosion of World War II, when a munitions dump at RAF Fauld went up in 1944. It was also the county’s regiment that once boasted within its ranks the most decorated NCO of World War I, in the person of William Coltman (1891-1974). Going back a little further, George Handel penned his world-famous masterpiece The Messiah on Staffordshire soil. During another chapter of Staffordshire history, the county was home to the first canals and the first factory in Britain, and it had front-row seats for the drama surrounding one of the most notorious murder trials of the 19th century, that of Doctor William Palmer.
In outline, Staffordshire looks not unlike the profile of a man giving Leicestershire a big kiss. The man’s forehead is arguably the best region for hillwalking, as it comprises a significant chunk of the Peak District. This area is characterised by lofty moors, deep dales and tremendous views of both. Further south are the six sprawling towns that make up Stoke-on-Trent, which historically have had such an impact on Staffordshire’s fortunes, not to mention its culture and countryside. This is pottery country, formerly at the forefront of the Industrial Revolution and the driving force behind a network of canals that still criss-cross the county.
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