Monday, 11 April 2016

The Ovington Ramblers: Hoe Rough

Maureen Simmons

Hoe Rough is found a few miles north of Dereham on the B1146 close to Gressenhall museum. It  provides a pleasant circular walk passing by the meandering river Whitewater across heathland and wet fenland.  It was a typical April day when we paid our visit but we managed to avoid the showers, although we did need our wellies as part is very wet.

Nowadays we take much longer on our walks as we take the time to “stop and stare”.  It is amazing to see so many tiny different plants growing in profusion that we once would have walked across without noticing.  Sometimes we look up the rare plants of interest on the walk and take pictures downloaded from the internet so we know what to look out for.  It is a way of learning as we go.  Today we were armed with pictures of yellow rattle, bogbean and cuckoo flower.  Unfortunately, as it is still early in the year, we only managed to find the cuckoo flower, a delicate soft lilac little flower growing in the wet ground.

Also thriving here along the river are huge poplar trees. These trees are dioecious, meaning they produce male and female flowers, or catkins, on different plants and there were many chunky red male catkins which had fallen from the trees. (The female catkins are greenish-yellow).

The Ovington Ramblers are a small group of friends who have decided in their 20th year of walking together that we will try to visit all the Norfolk Wildlife Trust reserves in their 90th Anniversary year.

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