Nature and Wonderful Wildlife at The Flowing Spring, Playhatch, Reading
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SEE OUR PHOTOS OF BLUE TITS AS THEY WERE FLEDGING.
Blue tits nested in the wall of our patio in May. On Saturday 1 June 2013, the first chicks appeared in daylight. Take a look at our lovely photos in our Wildlife Gallery.

If you have a love of nature, it's worth spending time relaxing at the Flowing Spring. The wildlife here on the edge of the Chilterns is wonderful.

Fantastic Red Kites circle the skies every day. Owls make themselves heard at night. The majestic trees create a real stir in the breeze.

Below is a list of just some of the amazing wildlife we've seen and heard here. Several are linked to photos taken here.

Red Kites, Buzzards, Sparrowhawks and
Kestrels (often in the garden)
Tawny Owls, Little and Barn Owls
Herons (fishing in our stream most mornings)
Green Woodpecker, Lesser Spotted and Greater Spotted Woodpeckers
Kingfishers
Various Crows, Magpies, Cuckoos and Jays
Pheasants
Fieldfares and Song Thrushes
Garden Birds including Blue Tits (and their fledglings), Great Tits, Long Tailed and Coal Tits, Robins, Wrens, Sparrows, Starlings, Blackbirds, Pied Wagtails, Goldfinches
Swans (with their cygnets born in June), Mallards, Coots, Moorhens,  Mandarins, Various Geese, Lapwings
Crayfish
Pike (swimming downstream to spawn)
Carp (spotted in the garden when it floods!)
Muntjac
Badgers
Foxes
Common Frogs
Field Mice
Grey Squirrels
Pipistrelle Bats
Various moths and butterflies
Dragonflies, ladybirds, spiders
Bees, wasps and beetles

We have streams on two sides of the garden which join the Thames further downstream at Shiplake. The actual spring from which the pub is named trickles out of the chalk hills on the opposite side of Spring Lane. The spring is naturally shrouded by rushes and reeds in a protected, ecological area of beauty. The spring water flows into Berry Brook, heading for Shiplake through the meadows.
The pub is sited on a natural flood plain so the garden gets plenty of water (and the car park) but the floods never reach a level that threatens the building itself.
It seems that flooding in the last decade has been exacerbated by gravel works which started around 2005, resulting in a large boating lake with a weir that directs surplus water our way, over the meadows through Sonning Eye, through our land and over Spring Lane towards Shiplake. There are campaigns to stop the gravel works which, locally, are pointed at as the major cause of increased water levels that bear less relationship with the River Thames than in past years.
The pub sits half in the Chilterns and half in the Thames Valley,
with the chalk of the Chilterns butting up against the clay of the Thames Valley. This explains the building's sloping walls and floors with not a right angle in sight! One of the beams in the bar marks the meeting point.

Please take a look at our many photos in our Gallery, taken over each season.
Beautiful views at the Flowing Spring, Henley Road, Playhatch RG4 9RB
Walks


NEW!
OUR BRAND NEW CIRCULAR WALK TO DUNSDEN AND BEYOND DESIGNED BY US!
Choose 2 miles, 3 miles or 8 miles.
Download or print it here. One A4 page.
This map is copyright Shrooms Foods Ltd 2016

OUR OTHER WALKS MAP
DOWNLOAD OUR A4 SIZE MAP OF WALKS, SPECIALLY DESIGNED BY US FOR OUR CUSTOMERS. IT SHOWS HOW TO GET HERE FROM READING, CAVERSHAM AND THAMES VALLEY PARK (SOUTH SIDE OF THE THAMES), TO AND FROM SHIPLAKE (NORTH SIDE OF THE THAMES), TO WARGRAVE (SOUTH OF THE THAMES), FROM EMMER GREEN, FROM CAVERSHAM PARK VILLAGE, TO AND FROM BINFIELD HEATH, TWYFORD AND CHARVIL - AND WE SHOW TWO CIRCULAR WALKS!
DOWNLOAD IT HERE!
This map is copyright Shrooms Foods 2013

The pub nestles within hills, fields and woodland and the views are beautiful. There are plenty of walks starting at the pub, whether a leisurely stroll along Spring Lane or into the woods opposite, or taking one of the many footpaths over the Chiltern Hills to Dunsden, Binfield Heath, and beyond. The River Thames is just minutes away at Sonning Bridge. Our map shows how to reach Sonning Bridge safely, avoiding the busy Playhatch Road. From Sonning Bridge there are towpaths towards Shiplake, Henley and Wargrave heading East and to Caversham and Reading heading West. 

There is a highly popluar circular walk starting at the Flowing Spring, up through the hills (and Bluebell Woods in Spring) to Binfield Heath, down to Shiplake, past the church to the Thames and along the river to Sonning. It's about 6.5 miles taking just over two hours. We have also deisgned another circular walk, heading to Wargrave on the South side of the Thames, hopping on the train to Shiplake and then heading back on the North side of the Thames.
And don't forget our brand new circular walk through Dunsden, Crowsley and Binfield Heath over the rolling Chilterns. eight miles of sheer pleasure.

PARKING
Anyone wishing to organise a group walk is welcome to park at our pub. Please telephone us or pop in if you would like to make arrangements.
The Flowing Spring, Henley Road, Playhatch, Oxon RG4 9RB     Telephone 0118 969 9878 or 07899 101830      Email info@theflowingspringpub.co.uk