Out There: Looking forward to coming year

Middleton Nature Reserve has reopened.
Middleton Nature Reserve has reopened.
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Christmas in Caton has been a crazy yet cracking one this year.

My entire family from Scotland came down for the festivities.

We all crammed into our little two bedroom house and had a whale of a time.

I was panicking about cooking Christmas dinner for ten people but it went surprisingly smoothly.

My husband Mark, a notorious ‘Scrooge’, was given a ‘sexy Santa’ outfit and chef’s hat but, surprise, surprise, he didn’t lift a finger.

A few days earlier we went to a Christmas wedding at the Wild Boar pub and hotel near Kendal. It was a magical candle-lit affair with family members singing songs during the ceremony and roaring fires to warm everyone up.

As Mark is a professional photographer he took some of the photographs, dragging bride Jen, groom Dan and their bridesmaids out into the sleet and wind for some informal posing. I loved their bouquets replete with pine cones and seasonal foliage.

Many congratulations to the new Mr and Mrs Fuller!

I was delighted to hear that the Community Woodland area within Middleton Nature Reserve near Heysham reopened on December 20.

It had been shut during work on Dong Energy’s windfarm cable works.

As part of the reinstatement of the area, Dong Energy has upgraded pathways and installed new disabled access kissing gates and horse stepover gates, providing access for pedestrians, horse riders, wheelchair users and mobility scooter riders.

The new gates are designed to deter motorbike and quad bike riding in the community woodland area, making the paths safer for all.

The reinstatement of the area will also include hedge planting and the installation of amphibian areas, to benefit the site’s fantastic array of wildlife.

Day to day management of the site is undertaken by Lancashire Wildlife Trust.

I’m looking forward to visiting it in the new year.

Another attraction I’m hoping to return to in 2014 is The Lost Gardens of Heligan in Cornwall. During 2014 the Lost Gardens managers are planning a project called Step Back in Time 100 Years for Act of Remembrance.

Preparations are already beginning for the 100-year anniversary of the First World War at the Lost Gardens.

To mark the centenary Heligan will be collaborating with renowned theatre company Wildworks to commemorate the day Britain declared war in 1914.

They plan to transform the Heligan estate back to the summer of 1914, introducing heavy horses, vintage cultivation equipment and craftsmen who still practice traditional rural skills onto the estate and recreating the day with a piece of living theatre, ‘100: The Day The World Changed.’

Many of the young men who worked at Heligan left for the war, leaving the gardens to fall into slow decline. Sadly, they never returned but they left behind many poignant stories. See www.heligan.com for more.