Thursday, 25 June 2020

Exploring the Mendips - Up on Draycott Sleights

Realizing the rest of the week would be hot, we decided last minute to take our first walk using the car  to get us to Draycott, which is not far from Wells on the Cheddar Road.

With little preplanning, except to take a walking stick, a bottle of water and the ordnance survey map, we set off for a circular walk.  On our return I have found the walk with description and it is spot on.

As we chose to walk below the exposed cliff, we shall be sure to go again soon and explore the reserve further.

The walk up Batscombe Hollow was glorious, with bird song, and wild thyme covering the anthills, and great views over the Somerset Levels. The stone walls and stone styles speak of a landscape well loved, and cared for.  Beyond and up the hollow the early summer flowers were starting to come out.  At first I had trouble finding out the name of this small pink flowered plant.  Veronica came to my aid. There were several patches of common centaury starting to bloom in the close cropped turf.  On the west facing slope of the Hollow, blue small scabious were just coming into flower. Emerging common rock-rose: helianthemum nummulariun, and ant hills covered with creeping thyme  

Common Centaury

Common rock rose

Down on the levels the tree clad Nyland Hill is one of the many 'islands' rising above the drained levels with the water filled rhynes glinting like fine ribbons forming boundaries to fertile fields.

The one mistake I made, but on this occasion, was not a problem, is that without thinking I wore a bright red tee-shirt.  We had to cross a field with a herd of long horn cattle, which thankfully continued to rest under the shade of trees, simply checking our progress.  I did not even wish to halt to take a picture of them! I felt relieved when we reached the other side of the field and went through the farm gate.

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