For those of you who know the Swettenham Arms, you’ll know how lucky we are with our location. Set at the end of a winding country lane right by the River Dane, our nearest neighbour is the Quinta Lovell Arboretum and wildlife reserve, a 16 hectare site created by Sir Bernard Lovell in 1948. In the spring, the grassy walks are bordered with daffodils, the last of the snowdrops and the first of the bluebells, and on a clear day there are views right over the River Dane.
The site has been managed by Cheshire Wildlife Trust since 1996, and if your hobby is birdwatching then it’s well worth a trip out. Some of the more unusual birds you might be able to spot at various times of year are sand martins, kingfishers, grey wagtails, sedge warblers, reed buntings, and woodpeckers. You’re very likely to see bats at dusk – in fact, if you sit in our beer garden at dusk on a summer’s evening, you’ll normally see a few bats putting on an aerial display for your entertainment. You might catch sight of the odd owl off for a hunting trip, as well. Other common birds included finches, nuthatches, tree creepers and fly catchers. On the lake in the middle of the arboretum you’ll often see ducks and moorhens, sometimes with a brood of tiny fluffy chicks. You’ll very often see pheasants scurrying around in the undergrowth, or find long pheasant tail feathers on the paths.
With the Arboretum starting to spring to life, it’s a great time to grab the binoculars and come and spend a few hours. Afterwards, we’d love to see you for lunch at the Swettenham Arms – boots and dogs are welcome in our stone-flagged bar areas. For our current seasonal menu, take a look at our food page.