An early spring walk around Swettenham Meadows


Of late we have found ourselves surrounded by swathes of sunny days, with the local flora and fauna happily dancing in the spring sunshine. Unfortunately on the day that we decided to take a dander around Swettenham Meadows Nature Reserve, it was not one of those days! Rather grey and gloomy, the day seemed to have little to offer in the way of sun light, but a few minutes walk down into the small valley that the reserve sits in, we were suddenly surrounded by life. All tucked up, and feeling shy in the cool breeze, there were definite signs of spring around each corner as we walked. The reserve had a feeling of ‘wildness’ and ‘realness’ about it that you just don’t get from an overly managed park, or even some reserves. It drew us in and made us want to explore further.

Why, you might ask, did we find ourselves walking around the reserve on a Wednesday afternoon in April? Were we not working, weren’t there more pressing things that we should be doing? Well yes, this! We are the Co-Founders of a small independent design agency based in Cheshire, and we look at the way that we work a little differently. Both keen naturalists and walkers, we ensure that good amount of the hours in our working week are logged outdoors. Working in the industry for almost 10 years, we’ve carried the stress and pressure that that entails on our shoulders day in and day out. So when we came to set up our own studio, we thought that there had to be another way. If we’re expected to be creative souls, building inspiring and innovative products and services for the people that we work with, how on earth can we do this from the seat of an office chair? Being outdoors awakens our creativity, its gives us that space and freedom to look at what we’re doing. And simply, it just makes us happy. Trusted, much of our work does have to be done from behind a computer screen, but when time and pressures allow we give ourselves that break outdoors. Or if projects and ideas are buzzing around in our heads, we’ll trot off on a walk and talk it out, often returning revived and reinvigorated, diving straight back into the work that we love.

Swettenham Meadows offered us that space. As few other people felt brave enough to trundle around on the cool spring day, we felt like we had our own private reserve. Surrounded by the callings of the residents that lived there, a buzzard, a willow warbler, a chiffchaff and a very busy woodpecker, we felt their world surrounding us. We spotted beautiful signs of spring shyly hidden within the meadow and even saw a few Bluebells starting to raise this heads up from the ground. Even on a grey day, where the scenery can look dull and lifeless, the meadows were a wash with greens, yellows, browns and the whites, purple, yellows and blues thrown in. The walk took us all around the reserve, with great opportunities to spot wildlife, as well as giving us a real good stretch of the legs, out in the beautiful county that we call our home.

Find out more about Swettenham Meadows.

Sally Evans