The Swan Princess and the peas ... a fairytale of a different kind

Today we headed out in search of a new location. The Hampshire Council has recently introduced a new scheme for people like us who like to get out and about in the area. It is called the 'Culture all passport' and cost us only £69 for a full one year membership. The passport allows a family of four unlimited entry into a number of attractions in the area, including farms, country parks, historical sights, as well as free parking at all of the approved sites. Great value! After a little research we discovered we could purchase our passport at any of the participating attractions... so off we went.

The destination for today was 'Staunton Country Park' in nearby Havant. We have been living in Waterlooville for almost 18 months now and didn't realise that this lovely country park was practically right on our doorstep. Once there we arranged for our passports and set off to take Storm for a walk around the park.

Staunton Country Park is set on 1000 acres and has numerous areas to visit, including the landscaped parkland's, an ornamental farm, gardens, a maze, glasshouses, woodlands, a lake and more. Our mission today: the parkland's and lake.

After watching our photography modules for last month, on photographing wildlife, we decided to take their advice and take some frozen peas, in the hope of finding swans on the lake. Bread, obviously, is not good for birds so we decided to take the experts' advice and offer peas. We were not to be disappointed. Not only did we find swans on the beautiful lake. We found a mating pair and their little signets. The father was not at all pleased when he saw Storm and he vehemently displayed his dislike by hissing and running in her direction. Then he decided that we were also a threat to his little family.

Eventually he settled, a little, when we offered our greens into the water for him and his flock. The boys munched on more peas than they shared with the swans, but had a great time getting up close and personal to these beautiful creatures. Thanks to the advice given in the wildlife module of our course we were able to get some stunning shots of the swans at eye level.

After our very close encounter with the swans we took a nice stroll around the parkland's until we were ready to return home.

Staunton park is absolutely beautiful. We will be back soon!


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