Wild Monty

About Montpelier

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Montpelier is a mysterious Kingdom lying somewhere behind Cheltenham Road. At the posh end you have the well-to-do district of St Andrews, whilst Lower Montpelier (as we in Upper Montpelier like to call it) adjoins the vibrant St Pauls, home of the even more vibrant St Pauls Carnival. There are many historic houses with fine examples of Georgian architecture. Picton Street is a thriving thoroughfare full of architectural delights and interesting shops. Montpelier has connections with such illustrious characters as Cary Grant, W G Grace and Henry Irving, the actor. The popular beat combo Massive Attack hail from these parts. The neighbourhood is famed for its Bohemian image, cultural diversity and laid-back ambience. In my opinion it has lost a little of its character in recent years due to the gradual gentrification of the area - too self-consciously middle class and slightly pretentious - but Montpelier is still a great place to live, watch wildlife and eat bulgar wheat, but preferably not at the same time.

Map of Montpelier

desbowring1.JPG
Des Bowring

I'm Des - when not watching wildlife I like listening to music of all kinds, reading, writing, African drumming, real ale, politics, sport, art etc.

Montpelier wildlife hotspots

The station and the adjoining cutting is an extensive network of grass, scrub and scattered mature trees. Birds find shelter and nesting sites here while the flowers and grasses provide butterflies and other insects with food and nectar. Unusual plants like Moth Mullein grow near the tunnel, and birds include Greenfinches, Chaffinches, Dunnocks and Blackcaps. It was here that the rare Turtle Dove stopped over on migration in spring 2007!

The park is a tiny but perfectly-formed area of grass, mature trees and shrubs. Dominating the scene are a few tall pine trees. Birds likely to be seen and heard here are the tits (including Coal Tit), Goldcrests, Chaffinches and Jays. A couple of Great Spotted Woodpeckers were seen in autumn 2007 but the rarity prise must go to a Wood Warbler which stopped off on spring migration a few years ago. There are some botanical gems in the shape of Swine Cress and Lesser Swine Cress amongst other notable plants found by Chris Rose recently. And of course don't forget the Squirrels!

The path that runs from the top of St Andrews Road, over the railway, along Fairlawn Road and then past a wooded section to Ashley Road is one of my favourite parts of Monty. There's a lovely grassy verge full of interesting flowers and a well-wooded railway cutting which attracts birds and butterflies. In summer 2007 a Chiff Chaff spent the breeding season here, and a Garden Warbler showed up during spring migration. Slow-worms have been seen along here and it is the best place in Monty to see Speckled Wood butterflies in summer.

Gardens form a major wildlife habitat in the UK as a whole and we are lucky to have so many large gardens here in Monty. Outside my window I have seen many birds and butterflies and I can expect a Blackcap almost every winter plus a selection of nesting birds in the summer months

Station Road between St Andrews Road and Cheltenham Road has some good habitat especially near the Royal Mail offices where Chris has found some unusal plants like Brooklime recently. The Albany Green and St Barnabas School area is also worth a look - the latter's playing field has attracted Grey Wagtails in the past and there is a thriving colony of House Sparrows nearby.

The path that runs from the top of St Andrews Road, over the railway, along Fairlawn Road and then past a wooded section to Ashley Road is one of my favourite parts of Monty. There's a lovely grassy verge full of interesting flowers and a well-wooded railway cutting which attracts birds and butterflies. In summer 2007 a Chiff Chaff spent the breeding season here, and a Garden Warbler showed up during spring migration. Slow-worms have been seen along here and it is the best place in Monty to see Speckled Wood butterflies in summer.

Gardens form a major wildlife habitat in the UK as a whole and we are lucky to have so many large gardens here in Monty. Outside my window I have seen many birds and butterflies and I can expect a Blackcap almost every winter plus a selection of nesting birds in the summer months