Viewing galleries from June, 2017
Mary, Barbara and John's walk took us up the splendid Noar Hill, which is looked after by the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust. Chalk grassland and scrub make it a favourite for orchids and butterflies. The day was a little damp but there was still a lot of nature to look at, even without expert knowledge. Common and pyramidal orchids were abundant, but we failed to spot many twayblades which are around. A new plant for us was a Lesser Broomrape, a parasitic plant usually dependant on dandelions. Specific species of Broomrape are a serious problem in some parts of the world but not in the UK. Lunch in the Selborne Arms. Thanks Jane for additional photos.
With London being far too hot, we travelled south to Chidham which was a few degrees cooler. We also were lucky to have a breeze for most of the morning - sometimes almost strong enough to blow off our sun hats. The lack of hills was a bonus. Having walked the 4.1/4 miles to The Old House at Home, we were able to rest for a good lunch before walking the last 3/4 of a mile back to the car park. Lots of animal life seen, including flashes of fast moving fish, probably bass. Highest temperature at nearby Thorney Island was just below 27 degrees, somewhat cooler than Heathrow at nearly 34 Degrees.
Isabel's second walk in two weeks was at Eartham. We started on the Monarch's Way which is really the old Roman road of Stane Street. Stane Street originally went in a perfectly straight line between Chicheter and London Bridge, deviating by only 6 miles to avoid some hills. Luckily the hills are now full of sheep instead of centurions. Coffee break was at the excellent Gumber Farm bothy, followed by a wander back down to the car park. The sun was strong so the tree shade was much appreciated, as was the excellent lunch in The George. The walk was just under 5 miles with 380 feet of height gained. Thanks also to Jane and Paul for photos
Isabel had planned a shortish walk on Coates Common as there were several absentees away in Somerset. The weather held up and the 4 miles were from the Lords Piece Car Park with a coffee break in Bignor Park. Thanks to Isabel and Paul for the photos.
We had escaped any serious rain during the week, one of the wettest for England this summer, but we ran out of luck late on this our last day. Starting out from Lynmouth along the valley of the East Lyn River, we passed the site of the hamlet of Middleham which was completely destroyed by the flood of 15th August 1952. Very pleasant walk up the river with plenty of birdlife. The National Trust stop at Watersmeet where the East Lyn meets the Hoaroak water seemed a good excuse to have a cup of tea and perhaps a cake or two. At this stage we coud have walked back down but jointly decided to go up to the village of Countisbury and then walk back along the coast to Lynmouth. Apart from the weather it was a good choice. Walking up through the woods was OK but as soon as we reached open ground near the top it began to rain heavily. We hoped the pub, the Blue Ball Inn, would be as helpful as the hotel in Porlock Weir but it wasn't to be, so another soaking until we reached the sanctuary of Countisbury Church. A good place for our picnic lunch and to wait for the rain to ease up. Just under an hour later the rain had stopped and we continued down to Lynmouth, eventually in bright sunshine. A splendid end to the week.