Every day I walk our dogs through the water meadows alongside the River Cam. Every day I see how the grasses and wildflowers are growing in fields that have been returned to pasture for the past 20 years.

 

They are a wild-life haven and home to cattle in the summer months. They also regulate flood-waters when the river gets high, taking the water safely away from the village.

 

This year I will write, from time to time, about these wonderful meadows. About the flowers (will the bee orchids return?), the very many birds that thrive by the water and about the ancient mill that sits at the end of a man-dug canal a hundred years or more ago.

 

The cattle are due to return soon – apparently different beasts from previous years. Yesterday there were signs of where the farmer has been strengthening the wire fences before they arrive.

 

Grass growth has been late this spring and the hedges and trees are only just showing life. There was still snow on the ground a month ago and the appearance of Lady’s smock three days ago is almost two weeks later than last year.

 

But once the warmth comes, I expect growth to explode. We must catch and enjoy spring as soon as it comes – because summer will be very close behind!

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