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.

View OS map on Streetmap

Finding the Pyramids

A fine June afternoon – bright sunshine, white puffy clouds (and the chance of a shower? No, surely not?). It’s a sausage-shaped walk, where our outward route, below the crest of the Wenlock Edge, is only 100 yards or so from our return – but also lower by a similar extent. The path through the trees is very pleasant, with the sun at our backs, but the return along the ridge is more open – and here are the pyramids! They’re orchids, dozens of them, scattered here and there in the dry grass beside the path. With plentiful pink and white wild rose, honeysuckle and (as we used to call them) “dog daisies”, it’s a colourful part of the world.

View OS map on Streetmap

Topley and The Speller

Another afternoon that’s too good to waste… We’re starting at the top of the Rushbury to Beambridge road, where it crests the Wenlock Edge, and walking around the rotund hill at Topley, along quiet farm lanes and tracks. Our return takes us through Upper Millichope and intriguingly-named “The Speller”, just one part of more extensive woodlands hereabout. It’s attractive country too – walking uphill, back towards the edge, we’re in deciduous territory, where the sunshine dapples the undergrowth. Lastly, buttercup meadows lead us to the track along the edge, back to the start.

View OS map on Streetmap

The Folly

It’s a landmark for miles around, marking the highest point of the Wenlock Edge. At the top of Flounders’ Folly. we’re 80 feet higher! Benjamin Flounders, a Yorkshireman, had it built in 1838. After falling into disrepair, the tower was renovated by a local trust in the early years of the millennium, with a new metal staircase. It is open to all who wish to take in the magnificent view from the top (and who are prepared to make the 500 ft ascent from the parking area) once a month – usually the last Sunday, also on certain high days (appropriately) and holidays. Today being the last Sunday in March, we’ll pay it a visit…

Flounders’ Folly

View OS map on Streetmap


Weds. 5 September: The London and North Western Railway used “Blackberry Black” paint on its locomotives – black with just a hint of colour. It’s probably that hint of colour in the fruits that makes them attractive to eat – a hint of something tasty, perhaps, and at present they’re ripe and juicy in great profusion in local hedgerows. They all had to be sampled, and as a result, we probably took a little longer walking around this enjoyable route on the quieter side of Much Wenlock. It’s not just blackberries that are fruiting – there are all kinds of fruits and berries ripening nicely, though we didn’t try nibbling the sloes or the crab apples, and certainly wouldn’t touch the toadstools. There were just a few sugar-sweet damsons within reach too…

View OS map on Streetmap

Autumn’s Edge

An altogether different feel to today’s short outing – a walk along the Wenlock Edge, on a day when autumn feels as though it’s just around the corner. The air has a refreshing coolness, the leaves are on the cusp of changing colour, and there’s all manner of fruits and berries in the undergrowth. The blackberries are better than we expected during those hot days in June and July, causing some delay to our progress…

View OS map on Streetmap

Shady woodlands

It’s pleasantly warm this afternoon, though the sun will be hot out in the open. We’ll follow a route that includes a good proportion of  natural deciduous woodland, on and below Wenlock Edge. The views aren’t great in the woods, of course, and the deer are hiding today, but it’s very enjoyable walking in cool, shady and quiet places.

View OS map on Streetmap

Battles in vain…

There’s plenty of colour on the Wenlock Edge now, much of it from the far end of the spectrum – blue, indigo and violet*, in other words. There are plenty of bluebells, and violets here and there – and the early purple orchids are out. There are yellows and whites too, and of course there’s green everywhere. It must be spring!

*Richard of York gained battles in vain = the rainbow… Does everyone know that?