Vernal equinox

Or was it yesterday? Whichever, we’re at the start of the lighter and warmer half of the year, and next weekend, the clocks go forward (at last!). The plants in hedgerow, forest and field are certainly springing into life and flower, with total disregard for any dodgy viruses the human race may be affected by. The wind (from the east) is chilly, and the sunshine less bright than forecast, but it’s good to be out on Wenlock Edge.

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Jam tomorrow

…or perhaps in a week or two. Wednesday 11 September – a walk near Much Wenlock, armed with bags for the blackberries we hope to find on our way. It’s a breezy big-sky day, good to be out, and there’s no shortage of fruit, even if we have to brave the scratches and the nettle-stings. The jam will be worth it, perhaps not just yet – the berries (just under 4lb) are in the freezer, waiting for a couple of days when we’ve time for boiling, sieving and boiling again. It needs to be soon though – we’ve just finished the last jar from 2018.


An evening on the Edge

Thursday 18 July: it’s a fine, bright evening, and we’re having a wander with the camera on the Wenlock Edge near Much Wenlock. We walk up the stone-floored lane, along the crest almost as far as the main road, and return through the woodland and the old quarries, past Stokes Barn and back to the car. The fields and hedgerows are colourful now – and there are lots of pyramidal orchids to catch the eye.

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Wenlock to Perkley

An easy wander to the south-west of Wenlock, on the last day of (meteorological) spring. There are wild flower meadows, fields of wheat, barley, oats and potatoes (and oilseed rape, almost completely faded), and hidden ways between lines of trees. Other than the power station chimney and cooling towers (not for much longer) it’s a rural and unspoiled landscape.

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The Bannister’s Round

It’s become a favourite – a very enjoyable circular route from Much Wenlock, down through Traps Coppice and into Bannister’s Coppice, then beside Sheinton Brook and back up through Homer. There was a chance of rain earlier in the afternoon – this route is mostly in attractive woodland, but in the event we didn’t need shelter. By the time we’d topped the edge above Homer, the day had changed for the better.

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Cast not a clout…

…or is it “Ne’er cast a clout”? Either way,  don’t do it “till May be out”. Does the old saying relate to the May blossom – which is out – or the month? It’s certainly too cold at present to cast any clouts – but at least it’s stayed dry, and with light winds, it’s very pleasant up here on the Edge near Much Wenlock.

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Bannister’s and Traps

Saturday 23 February: A walk from Wenlock, on a fine dry afternoon. It’s almost “fine sunny afternoon”, but an approaching weak weather front takes the sunshine away (it didn’t get far – there was clear blue sky not too many miles to the east). The woods are quiet – there’s no wind. In Bannister’s Coppice, a rustling to our left reveals a herd of deer, perhaps 20 or more, well-hidden and impossible to photograph. There aren’t any deer in Traps Coppice today – just hundreds of pheasants, whose likely life expectancy is probably very short…

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A walk to Wenlock

A couple of weeks ago, we caught the bus to Much Wenlock and walked back (see A walk from Wenlock). Today, one of us will be spending some time in Wenlock – if I time it right, I can get a lift back. It’s more-or-less the same route, but in reverse the views are different – mostly. It’s a fine sunny day – not a cloud in the sky – too good to waste!

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A walk from Wenlock

We’ll catch the bus and walk back… It should have been wall-to-wall sunshine, but clouds are blowing across from the north-east – we’ll have to be selective with the photos. We’re certainly not going to stand and wait until the sun shines – it’s much too cold, barely above freezing. Nevertheless, it’s pleasant when the sun’s out, and there are one or two reminders that spring isn’t too far away.

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