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Monday, 30 June 2014

Lathkill Dale and its wild flowers

This week there were only 3 of us, Rob was off to a medal auction down south. We parked at the top end of Lathkill Dale across the road from the toilet block. and followed the footpath down the meadow. The trail then got very rocky under foot and this slowed us down. The rocks just protruded through surface and you had to watch where you stepped constantly.If you slipped on this it was minimum a broken leg. Some of the wild plants through this area were brilliant. there was only us 3 and the sheep, loads of sheep and sheep dung!!
After we got to the waterfall we took a left turn up the steep path to Mill Farm and Haddon Grove, then across the meadows to the car.
This weeks route through upper Lathkill Dale, anti clockwise.
Wild thyme & lichen

Ike & Geoff

Geoff on a typical part of the trail

Cow parsley in this meadow


Meadow Sweet on the hillside

Meadow Sweet on the hillside

Dark Mullein (Verbascum nigrum). Witches in the middle ages used this variety in their brews.

Hillside covered with Dark Mullein

Dark Mullein (Verbascum nigrum)

Dark Mullein (Verbascum nigrum)

Jacobs Ladder

Lamb resting 

More wild thyme

Meadow Cranebill

Geoff photographing the flowers

Meadow sweet & Meadow cranebill



The bridge just below Lathkill Cave

Meadow Cranebill

Upper section of the river Lathkill

A Belted Galloway stretching for food

Lahkill waterfall

Ike & Geoff checking the map

Cow Parsley & Purple Meadow Grass



Little donkey
 This walk was just over 4 miles and very pleasant although the last mile we got rained on.
See you next week

Monday, 23 June 2014

Priestcliffe Nature Reserve and the Eroica Cycle Race.

This week we went up to Priestcliffe Lee's to have a look at the wild flowers on the nature reserve. we set off in lovely sunshine but the further north we went to low cloud got thicker. There was some brilliant sunrays coming through the clouds when we pulled up at Priestcliffe. A short walk brought us through the village then out into the fields and we just followed the footpath to the top of the quarry. It was quite steep and fortunately there was a handrail all the way down.
This weeks route around Priestcliffe
Sunray's greeting us on arrival

Lovely rolling countryside


Harvest time

Priestcliffe Lees is a nature reserve and SSSI lying on a steep limestone hillside above the River Wye and the Monsal Trail. It is best known for its wild flowers and you can see most of these from two public footpaths that climb up through the reserve. Bumpy lead spoil heaps are a reminder of the area's lead mining past and are renowned for the special flowers they support. In summer these top areas are alive with yellow mountain pansy and the tiny white flowers of leadwort and the unmistakable smell of thyme perfumes the air. On the lower slopes there are several varieties of orchid, including early purple, common spotted and fragrant and the flowers here attract various butterflies, including dark green fritillary. The ash woodland contains wych elm, bird cherry and purging buckthorn. Some birds, such as redstarts, blackcaps and willow warblers, visit for the summer and among the year round residents are tree creepers, green woodpeckers and nuthatches.

Geoff admiring the view, he was more interested where the narrow gauge rail track had come from.

The quarry at Priestcliffe

Breakfast time

Wild orchid's everywhere

Me taken by brother Rob

White orchid

 We made our way down to the Monsal trail where there was a cycle race in progress. Apparently cyclists come from all over the world to take part in the Eroica Race.
Group of cyclists from the Eroica Race on the Monsal trail

Some lovely wild roses.

Ike having an orange

Geoff trying to pick up this stone which had tumbled from the wall. In the end it was Rob who put it back


More wild flowers


Love is - togetherness!!

More cyclists coming up this steep hill

These 3 were from Sweden

Last shot of the day back at the car.
Well again this was somewhere that Geoff hadn't been to. The weather was strange, one minute misty in the distance the next clear blue skies. Only about 3 1/2 miles but a lovely little walk with some gorgeous views.
See you next week.