Thursday, 8 August 2013

Chieveley, Lechampstead and Peasemore

I managed in the slightly cooler temperatures a walk of ten miles over some Berkshire farmland. It is walk best done in summer when the paths are not too muddy. I started off at the village of Chieveley, from where I had previously walked south over Snelsmore to Newbury. The other walk this links to was from Beedon to Hermitage. Here is a google map of the walk:

View Chieveley - Leckhampstead - Peasemore in a larger map

I saw many butterflies, a very good spell of weather for them. There were 17 different species I identified: Small White; Large White; Marbled White; Green-veined White; Brimstone; Speckled Wood; Meadow Brown; Ringlet; Gatekeeper; Small Skipper; Large Skipper; Small Tortoiseshell; Red Admiral; Peacock; Comma; Common Blue and Small Copper. All fairly common except for the Small Copper, but good to see in any case. As I have recently posted a page full of butterflies, I have had to limit myself to only including a couple more.

This view of fields of ripe corn sets the scene for much of the walk. Modern agricultural practise results in the fields being a wildlife desert.


At North Heath there was a paddock full of Highland bullocks which kicked up quite a racket when I came close. Nearby a barn was falling apart making it somehow more appealing as a subject for a painting.


Nearly every flower that I saw had a bee on it, sometimes two. They were all bumble bees, I saw no honey bees. This buff tipped one is on a knapweed flower.


At Leckhampstead there is an attractive little church. Now normally I have nothing nice to say about Victorian churches. All too often restorations rob the original building of its ancient feel, they were made too neat and tidy. In this case it does not pretend to be medieval. It was built in 1859 and the coloured bricks are used as interior decoration as well as outside. The architect Samuel Sanders Teulon had a distinctive style that seems to work in this case.

Leckhampstead Church

Inside it has a relocated Jacobean pulpit as well as a fine old Anglo-Saxon font.

Leckhampstead Church,font

The village has a few old houses, some thatched. It also has the distinction of a war memorial complete with two clocks built into it. The memorial is unusual as it actually uses World War I artefacts in its construction.

Leckhampstead house

Out in the countryside again, and the village has a small nature reserve just to the north, Grovepit green. There were many peacock butterflies flying around among the nettles.

peacock butterfly

I then came across a wild flower meadow full of scabious and marjoram with many bees and butterflies. There were some clustered bellflowers there too.

clustered bellflower

One last butterfly, on my butterfly page I reflected that there were not many 'green' butterflies, well a brimstone at certain angles looks decidedly green and can be mistaken as a leaf. It looks more green than yellow anyway.

brimstone butterfly

Now that we are creeping into 'late summer' the wild carrot flowers are beginning to fold in on themselves.

wild carrot

Peasemore is a bit of a modern sprawl along the main road, although there are a few nice old houses near the church. The church's high steeple can be seen for miles. It was in this graveyard that I saw my first Small Copper butterfly.

Peasemore church

Walking back to Chieveley took me to Old Street, the old Reading-Wantage track. One field had quite a few poppies around the edge, quite a rare sight these days.

poppy field

Finally I thought I would end on a moth. My previous post was all about night flying moths and today, in broad daylight, I saw half a dozen of moths that were all I believe Silver Y Moths. Curiously the moths were more sensitive to sound than the butterflies. If I made the slightest noise, such as taking the lens cap off my camera, the moths would fly away.

silver y moth

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

peasemore is a wonderful place the flora and fauna on the wayside verges is wonderful.