Posted 9th Nov 2017 by Peter Byrne
Lead image: Rob Turner
Summer may seem a distant memory, and it's highly tempting to start to hibernate, much like the majority of the sleepy wildlife
However, Somerset Wildlife Trust has got a better idea instead - to head outdoors and enjoy the fresh, crisp air of the countryside and to explore some of the wonders of the surrounding area.
They share a few winter walks to get you in the mood.
Great Breach Wood
If you want to take in a great view, look no further than this 4.3 mile woody walk to get an extra festive smile on your face. The walk is mainly level, but there will be some gentle slopes and steps to put some colour in your cheeks.
Image courtesy of Mark Green
The reserve hosts a stunning array of butterflies during the spring and summer, but transforms in winter to become a home to a lovely number of birds, including Tree Creepers, Goldcrests, Blue tits and Long-tailed tits. You'll have a choice of two trails, and can witness the birds on either trail.
Westhay Moor National Nature Reserve is set within the historic Levels and Moors and is definitely worth a trip to sprinkle some extra magic on your Christmas holiday. It allows you to explore, and there will be something different behind each door or corner, with an array of beautiful wildlife pictures and surprises awaiting discovery.
A winter wonderland full of historical surprises to unwrap, the festively marked reserve has two trails of differing length. You'll get to take a trip through time on these trips, uncovering the industrial heritage of the reserve. You'll also get to hear the distinctive calls of the Buzzards, Kestrels and Ravens, and as you continue to follow the path to the highest point, will get a far-reaching view which stretches from Somerset to the North Devon coast. If home calls, there will be the option to pick up a shorter trail, which takes you back through native broadleaf woodland.
Velvet Bottom nature reserve is situated on the floor of a dry river valley, and is a long, narrow filled area with rough grassland, and pockets of woodland and scrub. A linear walk along the reserve is 1.7km one way. As winter takes over on the woodland's northern edge, the old work house and remaining lead slag will be coated in frost or dusted snow, adding more charm to the remains of past industry.
You can find out more about each location here.