Milton Keynes

Having spent several days recently doing a circular walk all around Milton Keynes, I spent most of today wandering through the new city. I had to wait while my car had a service and MOT there, so I planned on walking from the garage  to the Grand Union Canal and then walking a section of the towpath that I have not yet done. Unfortunately, today turned out to be a very wet day, so I did a somewhat shorter walk instead.

I walked on a cycle path close to a dual carriageway for half an hour or so, then walked round Willen Lakes. The southern of these two man-made lakes is used for water sports, the northern one is a bird reserve – there is a hide, which I visited, although I hadn’t taken by binoculars with me. I saw some lapwings and coots from the hide, and a heron as I walked round. I also saw some lovely Purple Loosestrife by the lakes.

There is a ‘Peace Pagoda’ by the northern lake, associated with a nearby Buddhist Monastery. I went to have a look at it, but it was in the process of being cordoned off by the Fire and Rescue services – there were a couple of Fire Engines with their blue lights flashing. I don’t know what was going on.

Having been round the lakes, I followed another hard-surfaced path alongside the river Ouzel. I was impressed by the green spaces in Milton Keynes. After a while, this path actually went through some pasture where sheep and cattle where grazing (real cows, honest, not the concrete cows MK is famous for!). I saw some Himalayan Balsam for the first time, here along the river. It is a very attractive light or dark pink flower, but is non-native and is spreading rapidly along many waterways to the detriment of native species.

I then made my way through some housing estates back to the shopping centre in Kingston, close to the garage, and had a coffee at M&S.

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