Urban diary: Wildlife in Worcester/2

Paradox: drawn though I am to remote places, and the opportunities for solitude and quiet reflection which they provide, I would never actually want to live far from a railway station. I don’t much care for driving these days, mostly find it a chore; there are exceptions of course, but given the choice I’d walk, take the train, or some combination of both. Days like this one are greatly enhanced by leaving the car on the drive.

Worcester is a place we return to fairly regularly: more urban than was once the case, it’s still managed to retain some of its appeal as the development gradually pushes further out along the line of the river on the southern side. Possibly on the northern side too; it’s not a part of the city we visit.

The completion of the Diglis footbridge in 2010 allowed for a circular walk, out past the cathedral and returning alongside the county cricket ground; or the same route reversed, if preferred. Generally it’s the cathedral side of the river which seems to catch more of the sun and provides the better options for a food stop; there is no shortage of benches.

The road bridge carrying the A44 past New Road county cricket ground

A view back towards the city, marred by some 1960s architecture

Riverside walkway – cathedral side of river

Worcester Cathedral

Not being of a religious persuasion, I sometimes find the opulence and ostentation of high churches a little unsettling; and it doesn’t always do to dwell for too long on the history of it all. Smaller, more spartan country churches are a different matter, and their churchyards are often quiet and welcoming places to dwell for a while. That said, there’s no denying the levels of craftsmanship achieved under what must have been severely demanding working conditions in all sorts of ways…

[Left] Interior view – Cathedral Church of Christ and the Blessed Mary the Virgin of Worcester, more commonly known simply as Worcester Cathedral.

 

 

 

 

There are some attractive dwelling houses in the immediate environs of the cathedral and around College Green. Who owns and/or lives in them I have no idea…

Oh yes, of course, wildlife…

It can all get a bit chaotic at times

There’s a swan sanctuary just south of the main road bridge and on the cricket ground (west) side of the river. The swans are monitored and regularly fed, although they have to be quick to keep ahead of the opportunist gulls and pigeons. No wonder peregrines regularly use the cathedral as a nesting site…

 

 

This was a rarity though – a black swan (left). I’d never seen one of these anywhere on the river before, the closest would have been the WWT reserve at Slimbridge. It could possibly be an escapee: smaller than the resident mutes, they can apparently be quite aggressive; it certainly didn’t seem fazed by being heavily outnumbered.

 

 

And finally, a heavily cropped picture of a kingfisher which decided to sit for a while on the stonework, just near to where the canal joins the river…

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7 thoughts on “Urban diary: Wildlife in Worcester/2

  1. Interesting and good photos. I walked the Severn Way in August 2013 and had an overnight in Worcester – here’s a bit from my journal next morning:

    “I was told at The Farriers where I stayed that a nearby café would be open at 7:30am. When I went out to dine I looked at the door and it didn’t open until 8:30 – I was booked at The Farriers without breakfast.

    The recommended Talbot las t night was mediocre with poor service, and ONCE AGAIN, loud music.

    At home, and almost everywhere, at night, I hear that wretched repetitive cooing of the pigeons or their near relations. In my room at The Farriers this was replaced with endless seagull squawking.

    At 7:15 am I was asking the bin men if there was a café open. They told me of one that opened at 7:45, but slightly in the wrong direction. Off I went, and at 7:40 the lady told me she could serve nothing until 8:00. A nearby ambulance driver told me about a Texaco station a kilometre down my route with a bit of doubling back – all that took a lot of faffing, but I needed breakfast and liquid to carry.”

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  2. Hi Conrad, I bet you were hungry and did the breakfast justice when it eventually materialised.

    The quality of the photos is all to do with the remarkable quality of modern lenses and sensors, rather than any skill on my part. I still shoot more on ‘Auto’ than any other setting.

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    • Hello Alan, I’m not sure exactly when it happened but at some point any convenience from driving became outweighed by actually having to do it. Worcester is a nice enough city; similarities to Perth in some ways, although I think Perth is probably a bit nicer overall.

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  3. Some nice photos there. Lucky to get a decent shot of a Kingfisher in an urban environment. I’ve only ever caught glimpses, a flash of bright blue as they flit along the river.
    Having grown up in the West Midlands (with an accent to match!) we visited Worcester many times and I used to love it. Nowadays, like all these cities including my current adopted home of Hereford I find then blighted by too much unsympathetic development. I should really make some more effort, as you did, to find their true heart and soul.
    I know what you mean about cars. Living where I do I’m pretty much welded to mine. Our holidays this year have been city based and it was a real pleasure to travel by train and public transport. Liberating you might say.

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  4. Hi Andy, the next post will be a brief one about that very kingfisher photograph. There’s been a lot of development in recent years on the cathedral side of the river, all the way down as far as Diglis weir. It’s mostly apartments, but there’s the usual sprinkling of bars and gastropubs, along with a refurbished marina and waterfront.

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