Walks following the chalk downlands of south Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire on or near the Chiltern Way north of the Thames.Checkendon and Stoke Row
Woodcote and Goring
Stoke Row; Nettlebed and Bix
Cookley Green; Watlington; Stonor and Warburg
Rotherfield Peppard and Henley
Woodcote and Exlade Street
Cookley Green and Russells Water
Stokenchurch and Ibstone
Swyncombe and Ewelme
Whitchurch Hill and Crays Pond
Watlington and Britwell Salome
Mapledurham and Goring Heath
Turville and Fingest
Sonning Common and Kidmore End
Russells Water and Pishill
After a short power cut at home - they're upgrading the gas mains nearby, I had just about reset the PC and got up and running again when the power went again. So I decided rather than lose more work I would go for a walk instead! The aim was to try to find Herb Paris in Mousells Wood. The starting point was the quiet village of Turville, which I have been to twice before: Hambleden, Turville and Skirmett and Turville, Watlington and Ibstone but not in Spring. Here is map of the 7 mile walk:
I took the steep walk to the windmill that overlooks Turville.
It struck me that I have visited both Turville and Deane in the last six months, not a lot of people can say that! On the path just in front of my nose was a butterfly. As there was a cold north-westerly breeze blowing it stayed put unlike the butterflies I saw last week. It is a Dingy Skipper, one that while not uncommon is quite rare to spot. The markings are quite attractive and not really 'dingy' at all. I saw very few butterflies elsewhere on the walk, too cold for them and there was a stiff breeze.
I walked through some woodland and then went down into the next valley that has the hamlet of Fingest in it.
In the field were sheep with some very contended looking lambs. One almost looks like it is smiling, what a shame they have to grow up!
In the next woods I spotted something gold and shiny on a leaf. I think it might be the Plain Gold micro-moth (Micropterix Calthella).
Then another field full of sheep, the majority with two lambs. The farmer had helpfully sprayed mother and offspring with numbers, presumably to help the lambs find their mothers? There were also swallows flying over the field, the first seen this year.
I reached Mousells Wood and started looking for Herb Paris. As it is a green plant with small flowers it is really hard to spot from a distance. I had no luck, and as I had a similarly unsuccessful trip last year perhaps it will always elude me. The woods were attractive though.
My path joined a section of the Chiltern Way and I followed it through Adam's Wood (managed by the Woodland Trust) and at this time of year full of bluebells.
Skirmett is really just a few houses along the road to Turville, however it was every bit a rural idyll and yet only three miles from the M40.
Across the field I could see in the distance strange grey shapes. Getting closer they turned out to be a large herd of deer. I am assuming they are farmed, I saw a dozen or so wild deer in Mousells Wood
I took a footpath up into Great Wood, another climb (Google Earth tells me I did 1,376 feet in all) with many wild flowers : goldilocks buttercup, wood spurge, spurge laurel, woodruff, wood sorrel, wood anemone etc.. When I came down to another branch of the Chiltern Way I spotted a buttercup (probably a field buttercup) in bud. It was a struggle to focus so the hairs came out in sharp focus.
Approaching Truville there were many arum lilies. It is often hard to find them at their best, they are often half-chewed, gone over or lop-sided so it was good to see this fine specimen.
The church at Turville is famous as the setting for all the Vicar of Dibley church scenes. It receives a steady stream of visitors. The village has been used for Goodnight Mr Tom and quite a few other films. On this shot you can see the windmill that I passed on the first part of the walk.
Within Turville church are a number of pieces of old stained glass in the form of parts of heraldic shields. I think this motto ‘Quo Fata Vocant’ relates to the Earls of Leicester and there is a connection to Bysshe Shelley great-grandfather to the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley.
Then back home with power restored and remaining stable - so far.