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RSPB, The Idioms and Feeding Two Birds with One Scone

April 25, 2016


Hay Day, Coombes Valley July 2nd 2016


Coombes Valley, for those not familiar with the area, is a stretch of Staffordshire countryside (UK) that still remains a best kept secret, even from many locals. As a boy I unsuccessfully fished for trout in the Coombes Brook. Later, having swapped my fishing rod for a guitar, I became a regular visitor to Basford Hall, a stately home converted into apartments that sits overlooking the Coombes Valley. Once it was a bourgeoning hippie haunt, a place where musicians and artists hung out, a place of beauty and solitude, somewhere to go to be inspired. But time moves on. In 2016 the Hall still remains, as solid and dependable as ever. The hippies have long since gone though.


Bradnop, a tiny hamlet on the contours of an Ordnance Survey map, is now home to the Coombes Valley Nature Reserve and that splendid totem to sustainability, conservation and, protection: The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB).



On Saturday July 2nd 2016, the Reserve will host a celebration (Hay Day) of country craft and encourage visitors to take a look around the woodlands that surround the area, woodlands that provides homes to an abundant assortment of wildlife. As part of this celebration, The Idioms will be performing outside (well as long as it Is not pouring with rain they will) at 12:30, 13:30 and 14:30 – three different sets of 30 minutes. Inclement weather will mean the performances will be held in the splendid large yurt that overlooks the Coombes estate, close to the Visitor Centre.


On a personal level I have had a long association with the area and having the chance to perform there is a great opportunity to both visit and play in a very lovely part of the Leek Moorlands, a real case of being able to feed two birds with one scone!



Where is it?


  • Lat/lng: 53.07781,-1.98803

  • Grid reference: SK009534

  • Nearest town: Leek, Staffordshire

  • County: Staffordshire

  • Country: England


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