OK, I have to start by saying I love the name Paradise Bottom! It’s a valley with a couple of streams in it at the most northern part of Leigh Woods, on the bank of the River Avon. This part is owned by the Forestry Commission, and it includes what was an arboretum, designed by Humphry Repton in the 18th Century, so there are all kinds of interesting trees. The main stream starts at a pond at the top, with other springs and streams joining it, and more ponds further down in the woods, before the stream joins the Avon.
I’ve walked and cycled on the path along the Avon, but never gone up into it before, so Matt Gibson and I went exploring last Sunday, looking for the water.
My photos are here – it was dappled woodland light, which all my cameras found hard, but wow it was beautiful! Golden-green sunlight through the leaves, the smell of wild garlic everywhere, and I have some clips of what it sounded like below. Mouse/swipe over the first photo, and it should bring up the slideshow…
The first place we got to the water was walking down a steep slope under a huge beech tree, where the stream looked like this:
and sounded like this:
Further down the stream widened into a pond, with a little waterfall leading down:
It sounded like this:
A metre or two below this, another little stream joined this main one, and I stood on a little island between them, and recorded the sound there:
The earth the stream runs through is red with iron, and I really loved how the water sparkled over it, next to all the green, especially the green of ferns.
At the bottom, there are two viaducts – one carrying the railway to Pill, and the second taking the path along the Avon:
And here’s the Avon from the silt banks next to where the stream joined the Avon, looking north to Sea Mills:
We walked back up, through a stand of pine trees and under the Giant Redwood – and then had coffee and cake in the Brackenwood Garden Centre, just above it. It was a lovely walk, and I definitely want to repeat it in the autumn, when the trees will be magnificent.