Monday, 24 October 2016

The Ovington Ramblers: Syderstone Common and Ringstead Downs

In celebration of 90 years of the Norfolk Wildlife Trust, the Ovington Ramblers have been visiting all of the Trust's reserves in Norfolk.  Here is news of their latest visit.

Willow herb at Syderstone Common

The weather was miserable when we set out towards Hunstanton, windy and pouring of rain. However after nearly an hour's drive and a cuppa in the car, the sun came out and gave us a beautiful autumnal day.  

We started at Syderstone Common which provided a lovely walk in glorious colour, particularly from the red leaves of a profusion of willow herb, the soft lilac colour of the heather and the straw coloured wavy hair grass. The signs of autumn were all around us with acorns and beech nuts galore and the beautiful sight and sounds of flocks of geese honking their way across the skies. We also spotted a number of light brown furry caterpillars, possibly from the tiger moth?

Our second stop was at Ringstead Downs. This was another excellent walk, quite different from the former, along a steep-sided valley where the trees grew one above another from bramble, gorse and hawthorn right up to hazel, beech, oak, ash and pine.  Mother Nature is such a clever landscape gardener! High above the treetops we watched a very large buzzard scaring away all the rooks.

Ringstead Downs

We spent quite a while looking at the amazing number of wildflowers in the chalk grassland.  There were many we didn't know but we did recognise red clover, harebell, rock rose, buttercup, dandelion, scabious, campion, wild thyme, knapweed, lady's bedstraw, gromwell, dwarf thistle and poppy.

Rock rose

Next week, weather permitting, we plan to spend the day at Hickling Broad.

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