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
I am trying to make the most of any sunshine, particularly now the days are so much shorter. This time I decide to complete a missing section of the Chiltern Way that stretches from Ewelme, Oxfordshire all the way up to Hexton, Hertfordshire. Here is a map of the ten mile walk:
I started at Russell's Water (of Chitty-chitty bang-bang infamy) and headed for Pishill Bottom. The woods here have a very ancient feel and showed little sign of the approach of autumn.
The Chiltern Way then wanders through over a mile of mixed woodland. I was surprised to find some Yellow Pimpernel out in flower. I am also happy to report that there were lots of fungi of different types. This one I am still trying to identify, it looks like a 'coral fungus' - possibly Lentaria afflata but could well be Wrinkled club (Clavulina rugosa).
The next group of piny fungi were on the edge of the woods, I'd guess Lilac bonnet (Mycena pura).
Next it was out onto fields where there were quite a few arable weeds still in flower. A linnet that I often see at this time of year was soaking up some sun.
I then joined a section I had walked five years ago that heads north to Ibstone. On the way it passes the grounds of a grand house, near Wormsley Park - famous for its cricket ground and owned by the billionaire Mark Getty , this is the impressive monument there.
The views all around were splendid, particularly with some fair weather cloud.
At the top of a steep slope was a nice patch of wild-flowers with clustered bellflowers, scabious and here marjoram. Alas no butterflies here, on the whole walk I saw just two speckled woods and one peacock - disappointing.
All around me on the walk was the sight and sound of pheasants, their life expectancy is rather short. All sorts of feeders were out to make sure they are nice and plump for the table.
Halfway between Ibstone and Turville Heath was a delightful find, a south facing slope covered with all sorts of chalk-loving wild-flowers. Many were still in flower including clustered bellflower, fairy flax, devil's bit scabious, centaury and here Chiltern gentian.
My route south then passed a field full of arable weeds still in flower including mullein (Verbascum thapsus).
I climbed up to Turville Heath with fine views all around. Here a few autumn tints can be seen in the trees.
Turville Grange is an impressive house, once owned by the family of Henry Ford, another American billionaire. Before that it was owned by a princess - Princess Radziwill aka. Caroline Lee Bouvier the sister of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.
Back to the countryside and another pretty autumn flower I often see is Black horehound (Ballota nigra).
Pishill was my next destination. It is small hamlet, and has a small church to match. The church has an interesting history with the local Lord at Stonor (fiercely Anglo-Catholic) resisting increasing the salary of the vicar here. It is a modern church on an ancient site , it retains an unusual 14th century octagonal font. I was delighted to find a flapjack for sale in the church porch, it was delicious.
In the churchyard was a magnificent waxcap fungus. I think it may be Hygrocybe conica also known as Witch's Hat or less poetically, Conical Slimy Cap.
By this time (4pm) clouds had come over and the last section was through woodlands. There were lots of fungi around. My last picture is another 'rarer' type I think this is possibly Trumpet Chanterelle (Cantharellus tubaeformis).