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After our encounter with the Giant Spoon and the Alien Sophie and I got back in the car and headed off to Druridge Bay and the country park there.

The History Bit

Druridge Bay is a 7 miles long bay on the coast of Northumberland. During World War II, defences were constructed around Druridge Bay as part of the anti-invasion preparations. The defences included scaffolding barriers and anti-tank blocks overlooked by pillboxes; and behind these were minefields and an anti-tank ditch. Between the hamlets of Druridge and Cresswell, anti-glider ditches were dug and there is still a brick-built decoy control there somewhere. But there was a bitter wind coming in off the sea and we didn’t spend a long time photographing on the beach. Job for summer.
In the 80’s there were plans to site a Pressurised Water Reactor nuclear power station there. There was a long campaign to prevent that happening, and with new government rulings on Nuclear Power happening, the plans were shelved in 1989.  In 2015 the Banks group Mining company applied to do open cast mining in 900 acres immediately to the west of the beach, for the extraction of 3 million tonnes of coal. Six weeks after the application was submitted the UK government announced that all coal-fired energy generation would cease by 2025. Over 1800 letters of objection were received but Northumberland County Council approved plans for the open-cast mine in July 2016. In September 2016, the plans were put on hold subject to a government inquiry.  Instead the Banks Group are open cast mining near Cramlington, but that will be covered in the next post.

Northumberland Wildlife Trust purchased the sand extraction site from RMC Group in 2006. The shore is known for populations of birds including the golden plover and the purple sandpiper. Druridge Bay is best known to birdwatchers for hosting, in 1998, the Druridge Bay curlew, a controversial bird which was eventually accepted as the first record of a slender-billed curlew in Britain, although this identification is still disputed by some. I don’t suppose the birds care, being as controversial as they like, and we didn’t see any anyway :). Druridge Bay is also used by naturists. The North East Skinny Dip, first held in 2012, is an annual event to raise funds for MIND, the mental health charity. It is held around the time of the Autumn Equinox in late September each year. We didn’t see any of those either. Thankfully.

Druridge Bay

Walking over the nature reserve to get to the bay.

Those were my last shots there, as the main event for us was the 1.5 mile walk around Ladyburn Lake at the country park on the other side of the nature reserve. The park is centred on the lake with surrounding meadows and woods which has been restored from an old opencast coal mine and is maturing into a very pleasant landscape for walks and picnics. It’s reasonably quiet here in February, a few dog walkers of course, and a couple wrapped up well and having said picnic, as you do when it’s 3 degrees outside with a wind chill factor of -6!

Picnic Pair

The lake and surround is home to quite a few birds,


shouty robin

Oystercatchers (maybe a bit of a dim bird,not realising oysters and shellfish tend to be found in water!)

We could see swans and other birds on the far side of the lake but meandered slowly around, enjoying the sunshine and having a natter.

Sunny Rushes

Although it was cold and the wind was snappy, we had some sunshine, everything seems better in the sun don’t you think?

solar power

We normally think of catkins as being yellow, but the Alder trees have lovely purpley ones

Alder Catkins

wooden walkway over the lake’s exit, or entrance!

That will do for Part 1, but stay tooned for Part 2 when we find some strange rocks, and beautiful swans.


46 comments on “Fraggle Report~ Druridge Bay ~ February 2018~ Part 1

  1. April Munday says:

    Very lovely, but you wouldn’t catch me having a picnic in 3 degrees.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. -N- says:

    What an absolutely lovely area – you caught it in detail and space. I so enjoy wild places. Keep on posting, Fraggy!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Will do! Cheers Naomi.


  3. vinnieh says:

    That bottom shot is the best.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Good to have a favourite, thanks V~man x

      Liked by 1 person

      1. vinnieh says:

        All of your shots are something special.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. raistlin0903 says:

    Beautiful pictures, and I agree with Vinnieh, the bottom one is the best. Also loved the introduction that you wrote for this post. Glad to read that for now at least the plans are still on hold. Hopefully it will stay that way. Looking forward to your next post! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hope so too, thanks Michel

      Liked by 1 person

  5. rmacwheeler says:

    Lovely. I’ll look forward to Part 2

    Liked by 1 person

  6. beetleypete says:

    Love the threatening skies in those first two shots. Very English! 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was very changeable all day Pete. Thanks x

      Liked by 1 person

  7. kmSalvatore says:

    Wow, what a lovely preserve, and those clouds.. amazing sky!!. You make me anxious to get started again, and j was indeed starting, and now icant find any of the photos i worked on:( i hate my PC !!
    Really 3 degrees? It looked so nice , i surely wouldn’t have been out;) !!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We were wrapped up warm 😊 cheers Mrs.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. AK says:

    I like the photo of the sun / sun stars produced by your small aperture.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, I like that one too.


  9. I just love the couple having a picnic, undeterred by the cold!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Me too, bonkers old people are the best. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Someday, I hope to be one of those bonkers old people!

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Jay says:

    Yes, the sun does make a big difference, and I love how it shows up so lovingly in your photos.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Wow, it looks beautiful there! Or, maybe it’s just your awesome pictures!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Such beautiful pictures Fraggle! And I have to concur with Michel and Vinnie. That last one is incredible. The way you captured the shadows made something that might otherwise be ordinary, special. Have I mentioned lately you should have a book, or a gallery, or…

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Eddy Winko says:

    Yep, bridge and shadows takes the 1st prize rosette today. That lake looked a bit choppy, I expect the grid was well served by the turbines. Who needs coal!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They’re still mining oen cast in Northumberland, will have some shots of it on my Northumberlandia post to come soon.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. You take extraordinary nature shots Fraggle! Just Wow! #yougogirl

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw thanks Hunny xx

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome, Lovely! I can’t get over how talented you are!😄❤🎊

        Liked by 1 person

  15. ortensia says:

    Lovely setting

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is, thanks for visiting!

      Liked by 1 person

  16. I am sure it was a cold experience with the extra windchill factor. But it only shows that good results come from facing challenging weather. Those are gorgeous photos.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Thanks for another lovely adventure, Fraggle. You cracked me up with the remark about the Giant Spoon and the Alien. That was a great post.
    You’ve outdone yourself with these spectacular sky-scapes. Gorgeous! Hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks lovely 🤗 back xx

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Fascinating; I’d never heard of the place and feel slightly guilty about it. Simply WONDERFUL hots. And I had no idea you could get purple catkins…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Mike, purple catkins was new to me too!


  19. steviegill says:

    Lovely shots, especially the last two. Fun fact: we have a naturist beach in Brighton 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. hah! I don’t imagine it being populated so much of the year!

      Liked by 1 person

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