We usually take the dog for his last walk on the beach here in Uphill; however if there are a lot of other people on the beach we tend to go somewhere else. I’m sure he wouldn’t run off but if he did and got muddled in the dark as to where we were it would be a very anxious time for all! Our beach is at the south end of Weston Bay – I prefer its old name, Glentworth Bay, and it’s where the River Axe runs into the sea through a very muddy and dangerous channel. The north end of Glentworth Bay is Worlebury Hill, a promontory which projects out towards Wales:
Worlebury Hill is the name given to an upland area lying between the flatlands of Weston-super-Mare and the Kewstoke area of North Somerset. Worlebury Hill rises from sea level to its highest point of 358 ft, and the western end of the hill forms a peninsula, jutting out into the Bristol Channel, between Weston Bay and Sand Bay. (Wikipedia)
So this evening, other people being on the beach, we drove round Glentworth Bay, rounded the end of Worlebury Hill and took the toll road to Sand Bay. Tolls are no longer collected, and when they were they were only a few pence. There used to be little wooden toll booths at either end of the road, but I think they’ve gone now. We turned off the toll road and drove through Kewstoke, along the coastal road – I say ‘road’ but it’s not very wide and in places you have to stop to let people pass. We parked in the carpark and crossed the road, went over the dunes and down onto the beach. It took a moment to let our eyes adjust but once we were away from the dunes, a huge full moon lit the beach. This August moon is supposed to be a Blue Moon, but when it was low in the sky it was a deep apricot colour, and as we walked along and it rose, it turned to a deep yellow – nothing blue that I could see.
As we got onto the beach, the dog barked his excited bark – we think he saw a fox, there was no sign of any people or other dog walkers. We set off back towards Worlebury Hill which rose like a huge black tree covered whale. We could see the light of other cars driving along the toll road, but the trees masked the noise of their engines. We chatted about all sorts of things as we strolled along, the dog racing backwards and forwards, sometimes threatening to knock us over as he charged back at full pelt. Luckily he never did, a magnificent last-minute body swerve round our legs then he screeched to a halt in a shower of sand.
As we got towards the end of the beach we could see the glimmer of a fire and turned round and strolled back. I had not a clue where we needed to cut up through the dunes, but daughter did and we climbed up and down the bank on the other side, crossed the empty road and back to the car. As we drove back we talked about how we had seen a mother fox and her family of tiny fluffy cubs cross the toll road last time we were here at night. One cub had been determined to cross back as we crept towards them, but a gentle biff from mum and the baby fox followed its siblings. We rounded a corner and there, creeping up the bank was a small fox. Too small to be one of the family we saw before, and as we drove home, we chatted about whether foxes have more than one litter a year, hibernating animals, bears and hedgehogs.