13 August 2019

· Wirral ·

A walk along the edge of the Dee Marshes to Burton Point. The farmers were bringing the sheep in from the marsh for dipping. It was lovely to see sheepdogs in action, doing there thing. My farmer friend says there have to be an awful lot of sheep in a field for there to look like a lot. There certainly looked to be an awful lot in the post-dip field—two or three hundred, I estimated—with far more still in the dipping pens and out on the marsh. The marshes are owned by the RSPB. Having sheep graze the marsh apparently keeps the grass in better shape for the birds. The sheepdogs set to flight 30 or so pink-footed geese. There were a few little egrets flapping about too, but little else.

Moel Famau from Burton Marshes

After my walk, I relocated to Gayton Marshes to do some work in the car. Two teenage girls dragged their dogs down the cobbled ramp towards the marsh, but came running back moments later, clearly worried, shouting to their mum that they’d heard grass-snakes. It took me a few minutes to realise they’d almost certainly only heard grasshoppers, by which time they had disappeared to safer territory.

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Richard Carter is a writer and photo­grapher living in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire.WebsiteFacebookTwitterNewsletterBooks
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