This is a repeat of a walk I tried out on 31st January. It is interesting to see the changes over the intervening ten weeks. Spring has been rather late this year and so there was not as much in flower as last year. With the cold spell some plants such as the Arum lily had not grown very much at all. As I was preparing for a group walk I checked it out on Sunday and then did the route again today (Wednesday) (9 miles in total) so the pictures are a combination of the best of both walks.
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The woods were delightful in the sunshine.
Of particular note were masses of wild garlic (Allium ursinum) or ramsons just coming into bud, carpeting the banks of the river. In January there had been a good number of snowdrops in this area too.
The water springs that are dotted along the side of the Lambourn had been fed by winter rain bubbling out of the chalk.
Along the Lambourn we saw a pair of grey wagtails, I managed to catch one of them before it flew off.
There is a lot of box bushes (Buxus sempervirens) in the woodland, and it was in flower giving off a subtle fragrance.
In the woods were primroses, lesser celandines and a garden escape: Corydalis.
Taking the path back there were good views down to the Lambourn. The spring water gives it an aquamarine tinge.
Near the Watts Bank nature reserve there were good specimens of Spurge Laurel (Daphne laureola) - neither a spurge or a laurel - in flower.
The only real rarity in flower was in the reserve, it is the Hairy Viola (Viola hirta). When I looked it up in my flora it mentioned a rarer subspecies Viola hirta ssp. calcarea - it was certainly in the right place to be the chalkier alternative.
In an attractive old wood on the way back Wood Anemones (Anemone nemorosa) were in flower.
I then wended by way back to Lambourn, the church stands out well in this view. Little change from a very similar view back in January.