Our first local walk from the house for a month, we call it the ‘chicken farm’ walk. It involves a section of Clearwell Meend and then through the ‘magic woods’ and out past the chicken farm (quite smelly but wonderful views across to the Sugar Loaf and then back down a path to the village and home…. takes about an hour with stops to photograph the flowers and admire the views.
Clearwell Meend supports all sorts of wild flowers, I looked out for a patch of Early Purple Orchids which I know to be present, they were there, but not looking good this year due probably to the slugs. However the primroses and some hybrid primrose/primula varieties were looking particularly good, no doubt helped by volunteers clearing the bracken throughout the winter.
Across the road and into the magic wood as I call it, this is the free bit not belonging to the Enchanted Forest people, there is a footpath and along the way it is carpeted with Ramsons and Dog’s Mercury. The Ramsons were not quite in flower the Dogs Mercury has been flowering for about a month. There were also some Bluebells coming into flower but not at their best yet and a good sprinkling of Wood Anemones, white flowers are always the most difficult to photograph, best to under expose.
Then out into the fields and hedgerows (the chicken farm area) despite the smell which only lasts for a couple of hundred yards there are lots more wild flowers and the views. I nearly overlooked the Dandelions, common but stunning, if they were rarities people would appreciate them far more.
There is a large Cherry tree on the way back down to the village and you can get some tasty cherries from it if the Blackbirds don’t get them first. Now it is in full flower.
On the path on the way back were a couple of eggs shells, bright blue with black spots so a Song Thrush, birds usually take the broken eggs some distance from the nest to get rid of them. Not sensible to tip them out of the nest onto the ground below and thus alert every predator that a nest full of tasty chicks is just above you. Also at the bottom was a particularly attractive Arum Lily.
This is the third year now we have been doing this walk, one small benefit from Covid and it was in that first year of lock down that I was getting together all my photos for the Woodland Wild Flower book, lucky to have so many species almost on my doorstep.