Thursday, 18 September 2008

Morgan's Hill and Calstone Coombes

'She did not turn' a magical painting by David Inshaw which was reproduced in the little booklet of four North Wessex walks published by the Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Society and was the inspiration for my walk today. I am indebted to my friend Hilary for driving us up to the start of our walk at the Smallgrain plantation picnic site.

Morgan's Hill is famous for its many varieties of wild orchids. The notice illustrates the Early Purple Spotted Orchid, Marsh Helleborine, Pyramidal Orchid, Frog Orchid and Twayblade. It also says that the late summer the slopes are covered in a haze of purple devils'-bit scabious and today we saw them plus many other late summer wild meadow flowers.
Calstone Coombes - our path took us through the folds of the coombes, generally considered to be medieval cultivation terraces or strip lynchets along the valley sides. A magical and dramatic landscape.

Sheep watching our progress along the valley of Calstone Coombes