Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Easton Royal, Pewsey and Milton Lilbourne

With the remnants of tropical hurricanes battering the country getting out for a walk on a rain-free day has had to wait. At last this walk has stitched together two series of walks. One from Savernake Forest and the other the southern Ridgeway, starting at Hannington and reaching Easton Royal. This twelve mile walk completes the southern Ridgeway along Inkpen ridge for the moment at Pewsey. Here is a map of the walk.


View Pewsey - Easton Royal in a larger map

The stiff wind kept butterflies and birds out of view. Flowers were now looking past their best. The path up to the downs at Easton Royal, where last I had seen milkworts now had gentians: Felworts (Autumn Gentian).

felwort

Up on Fyfield Down you could see the Wiltshire farmers are still burning wicker men. Well no, I think just burning off straw, but it looked dramatic from a distance.

field bruning

The Downs form a very steep curved escarpment. They are 'open access' but as they are so steep, only the path along the top is usable.

Fyfield Down

At the end of the downs a chalk horse has been cut, but only 80 years old.

Pewsey White Horse

From a distance it can be seen as the rather small and unimpressive figure that it is.

Pewsey White Horse

But the views from the top were impressive, the stiff cool breeze giving good visibility.

Fyfield Down View west

The hedges were thick with autumn fruit, this Guelder Rose was spectacular.

Guelder Rose

The town of Pewsey was not inspiring. It is a village that has grown in the last century, there are some nice old houses, including this school, but no central heart. Shops are struggling and it is on a very busy road.

Pewsey School

Pewsey has a large village church, suggesting wealth over the centuries, set as it is near the source of the River Avon (the River Avon that flows south past Stonehenge to Salisbury and Christchurch). The light was catching the West window, looking like a Victorian creation to me.

Pewsey School

The church has quite an eccentric font cover. Richly carved it is a World War I war memorial, the knights with swords are positioned above the angels.

Font cover

There were some attractive flowers still blooming, including this Eyebright.

Eye Bright

Milton Lilbourne is a nice looking village similar to Easton Royal, there is only one road and along it are a number of thatched houses.

Milton Lilbourne

One of the gardens was growing the Cape Gooseberry (Physalis) which is very striking in autumn.

Physalis,cape gooseberry

This impressive building with defending lion, I think is King Hall.

Milton Lilbourne

One final plant, no rarity, in fact a foreign invader, but the snowberry fruits looked good.

Snowberry

Seemed to be between seasons for the fungi, saw quite a few that had gone over, still too early for the main display. This one had the colour and texture of Parmesan, could it be Handkea excipuliformis?

Calvatia excipuliformis