Intensity: Very Low
Gradient: Very Low
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We’ll kick start our senses (and our body) with a warm up in the Cafe car park before getting into our stride along the Tarka trail towards Fremington.
At the Monkey Island Western gate we enter Home Farm Marsh which was originally wetland providing a valuable habitat home to a variety of wildfowl, waders & other wildlife. In the 1940’s and in order to feed a nation at war it was one of many such wetlands to be drained to make the land more viable for agriculture, supporting a dairy farming business. Unfortunately these changes came at a price due to much biodiversity being lost there was a severe reduction in visiting birds and plant species.
Fortunately the marsh was acquired by the Gala trust in 2002 and with careful management and low-intensity farming the wet pastures have been restored with a significant increase in the number and variety of birds and plants that can now be observed.
Indeed depending on the season as we cross the marsh to the coast path we must keep our eyes peeled for wildfowl and waders in the wet grasslands and farmland birds foraging in the arable fields and hedgerows. In spring and summer we will find butterflies in their plenty along with dragonflies and a profusion of wildflowers, especially along the flood bank.
We exit the marsh onto the SWCP which we will follow along the edge of the Taw Estuary and continue towards Fremington until we reach the East gate and return along the Tarka trail to the start point where on completion of our cool down and stretches we will seek refreshments in Sandbanks Cafe.
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