Tuesday, 8 June 2010
On Sunday I went to Brownsea Island with my weekend guests. It was a first visit for all of us, but hubby and I are the lucky ones because we live close to it. You have to get a ferry from Poole Quay to get there. The picture is of the landing area. I'm not sure when it was taken but it hasn't changed.
I will go back alone and take my camera. I rarely take it when in company because it is a bulky SLR and I get distracted, either from my friends' conversation or from taking my pictures.
Most of then island now belongs to the National Trust. The exceptions are the church, which belongs to the Church of England, and the castle, which belongs to the John Lewis Partnership. The current castle probably bears no resemblance to the original defensive fortification, which was built to protect the small entrance to Poole Harbour with its 100+ mile perimeter.
Beyond the castle is an area of varied countryside dotted here and there with buildings. To the north is a wildlife sanctuary, but the red squirrels people the woodlands all over. We were lucky enough to glimpse one - unusual for such a warm day. Red squirrels are natives of the UK but they are now very rare since grey squirrels were imported from the US bringing a deadly disease which killed off the local population. Brownsea Island has been protected from the greys by the surrounding sea and is one of just a couple of places where you can still see them.
The island's walks are delightful and offer wonderful views across the water to the eastern shores of the harbour and the Purbeck Hills. But its main claim to fame is being the birthplace of the scouting movement because Lord Robert Baden Powell set up the first scout camp there in 1907.
We really enjoyed our visit there and the ferry trips, which included a tour round the island and some Whitbread fizz on the way back. (For the uninitiated, this is a frothy British beer.)
I can't wait to go back, do more exploring and get some photos to share.
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