Do you know what a nature reserve is? Indeed, do you care what a nature reserve is? (Don't answer that).
Well, in case you're wondering and according to that online information bible Wikipedia, a nature reserve is:
"a protected area of importance for wildlife, flora, fauna or features of geological or other special interest, which is reserved and managed for conservation and to provide special opportunities for study or research."
But let me offer my own definition:
"a nature reserve is not a zoo."
Sadly, I only discovered this yesterday after the Whites went to visit Rodley Nature Reserve, just a short drive from Pudsey.
Vanessa mentioned its existence a few days ago and, because it apparently had a duck pond and our son currently has a duck obsession, we thought we'd pop along for a look. But what we found was very far from what we thought we'd find.
With no disrespect intended to the, no doubt, very good people who work there, Rodley Nature Reserve seems to amount to no more than a piece of (nicely kept) waste ground, a big hut, three mini-shelters and a couple of holes filled with water.
What it did not possess was any form of life, with the exception of a random collection of anoraked tree huggers and three flies that could sit on top of the water (well done them). The only other evidence we could find of things that lived and breathed was some dung, smeared on the ground - a picture of which you can see above. (The fact that I actually took my camera out to capture this may give you an indication of how exciting the trip was).
Once we finally accepted there was no chance whatsoever of meeting Daffy and his friends at Rodley Nature Reserve this particular Sunday afternoon, we gave it up as a bad job and went for a walk along the nearby Leeds-Liverpool canal. And what did we find there?
Yep, you guessed right.