Wildway Route 24 – Colliers Way …….. Off the Rails is a diary of plants and wildlife seen along Sustrans Colliers Way (Route 24) in 2017-8. It is not intended to be a comprehensive record of the flora and fauna of the environs of the cycle path, which Greener Greenways’ ecologists are planning at a later date, but merely a log of what we and fellow ramblers and birdwatchers see whilst walking a small section of the path.
Wild Waterways is a record of our survey of a stretch of the Somerset River Frome on behalf of the Somerset Otter Group. We are very lucky here in Somerset as the local otters are genetically linked to the native wild otters which survived on Exmoor when most of the otter population was wiped out in the 1990s so they have not been introduced.
The streams which run through the fields alongside and beside the paths on Colliers Way feed into Bucklad Brook before the brook joins the Mells River which then flows into the River Frome.
The River Frome is a very beautiful ever changing fast flowing river where it narrows, and ripples and widens as it flows through farming country where cattle stand ankle deep, drinking and flicking flies. It passes through Rodden Meadow Nature Reserve, on into the centre of the town of Frome, alongside a thriving Canoe Club out through farmland, past a few villages and Iford Manor before it reaches Farleigh Hungerford castle where the weir deepens the river. creating an ideal swimming spot at the Wild Swimming Club, the oldest in the country.
The river supports kingfishers, herons, little egrets, dippers, goosanders and the occasional mandarin ducks as well as wild brown trout attracting fly fishingmen and chub, roach and dace which challenge the skills of the coarse fishermen. [see Wild Waterways Species at the top of the main page for a full list]
Iford Manor on the River Frome