Eight pockets of urban nature
Follow in the footsteps of our members and supporters as they seek out wildness in towns and cities across the UK
We recently asked for your suggestions of wild places to explore within UK cityscapes this summer. Thank you to everyone who sent suggestions. Here are some of our top picks with the words and pictures we received:
Ashlawn Cutting – Steven Wright
"A section of the Great Central Railway, Ashlawn Cutting acts as a vital corridor for wildlife. Part of National Cycle Route 41 it is used by cyclists, dog walkers and nature lovers. Local schools also do their John Muir Award activities there!"
Den of Maidencraig – Kirsty Franklin
"A small haven of tranquillity so close to pollution."
Burslem Port – @FeralSpaces
"A disused canal where young people are adventuring, building and discovering a love of nature."
The Saltings – Cathy McVean
"Enclosed between the fresh water of the Forth and Clyde canal on one side, the salt water and mud-flats of the tidal River Clyde on the other, and the busy A898 over the Erskine Bridge above, this small area includes woodland and willow scrub, marshes, reedbeds and grass land. In summer the meadow is alive with bees and butterflies, and the woods resound with bird song. There is always something special to see: blue damselflies, spectacular orchids, a cinnabar moth, or a roe deer tip-toeing through the woods. Vehicles roar over the motorway bridge, their occupants quite oblivious to the kestrel and jackdaws nesting below the carriageway!"
5. ST ANDREWS
Lade Braes – Jamie Hinrichs
"I love this stretch in every season, it is a section of path I walk or run on regularly. It changes daily, not to mention seasonally. I think it is exceptional in the way it is both inextricably tied to the town (at least for me), but also irrevocably outside it. I find that every footpath is an invitation to go outwards and in this case a summons to go into a bit of urban wild."
Maze Park – Steve Ashton
"A green oasis of broad-leaved trees right at the centre of the Teesside - you can climb landscaped mounds and enjoy panoramic views."
Inverleith Park Pond – Madeleine Hall
"One of my favourite places in the city is the wetland corner of Inverleith Park Pond. It’s small but a real haven within the main park. Walk along the boardwalk and you can spot butterflies, water birds like coots and moorhens (sometimes with fluffy chicks) and plants like yellow irises and bog myrtle among the reeds and rushes."
Tooting Bec Common – @ashleaflondon
"A favourite local wild place near where I live is Tooting Bec Common, in South West London. I’ve just recently discovered a small circle of lime trees there. These trees’ leaf canopy forms a small sanctuary & how the light filters through the leaves is truly magical."
SUMMER MEMBERSHIP OFFER
INSTAGRAM PHOTOGRAPHY COMPETITION
Which wild places are you exploring over the summer? Share your photos on Instagram using #JMTSUMMER for your chance to win a year's free membership to the Trust, along with a John Muir Trust goodie bag and the latest Scottish Landscape Photographer of the Year book (terms and conditions apply, entries accepted until 24th August 2018).