Protecting biodiversity with nature reserves

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Yesterday was what I call a perfect autumn day.

The sky was blue, the autumn colours were vibrant and the birds were singing their hearts out.

I went for a walk with Mr Green but part of me felt uneasy in amongst all this beauty, perfection and stillness.

I was thinking about my friends and family on the other side of the pond and things seemed almost unreal. I was walking outside, barely needing a coat with the sun on my face while people were being killed, losing their possessions and being evacuated as Hurricane Sandy took hold.

Times like these make my sense of gratitude kick in. I try and begin and end each day with focusing on all the things I am grateful for and it’s interesting to notice how they change according to life circumstances.

Right now then I’m grateful for calm weather, stunning sunrises and for living in a safe and beautiful country.

There are so many things to be celebrated about living in England; I shared some photos of trees I had taken the other day and today I’m reminded that there are many beautiful place to visit across our green and pleasant land.

Tophill Low is an award winning nature reserve owned and run by Yorkshire Water. It is haven for thousands of birds, butterflies, dragonflies and even grass snakes! There are 12 different hides at the reserve all with unique vantage points over ponds, marshes and reservoirs.

Little Miss Green has recently taken up photography and hides are a brilliant way to capture breath taking photographs that you might not normally be able to get.

Sustainability is top of the list with Tophill Low being one of the most biodiverse sites in England. They’ve introduced a threatened breed of cattle to graze on meadowland and the site is home to many endangered species of wildflower.

You can follow their new motion-activated trail camera which will film anything that moves in front of it day or night! Selected footage will be shown on their site; which offers an opportunity to spot wildlife such as deer, otter and foxes that might otherwise stay away from humans.  Take a look below for 16 seconds of a cute otter!

You can submit your own photos for inclusion on their gallery and keep up to date with the latest sightings and news on their Tophill Low blog.

The blog is really worth following as it includes breath taking photographs and edge-of-the-seat descriptions of what is happening right now. From kingfishers to dragonflies to otters you can really get a feel for the seasons and the rhythms of nature.

What about you – do you have a favourite nature reserve to visit?

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