Dorset Walks

Thursday April 20th
Ashley Chase

Trip Report

Conditions as we left the vehicles were not good with a cold wind and thick fog. However, things soon improved as we walked north towards the Chase where the lower-lying land was below the cloud base.

One of the first plants we found was a patch of the tiny Moschatel, or town-hall clock flower.
Reaching the edge of Chapel Wood we found a great many interesting plant species including Early Purple Orchid, Barren Strawberry and several fungi including Cramp Balls and Glistening Inkcap.
In the wood itself we were disappointed but not altogether surprised to see that the late Spring had delayed the emergence of the Bluebells that are normally such a stunning sight at this time of year.

There were plenty of other plants to see though including this gorgeously-coloured bracket fungus.
The darkest corners of the wood held patches of the rarely-seen Golden Saxifrage.

An even rarer species was found growing on the banks of the deeply-cut stream - a patch of Green Hellebore, one of only 17 such patches in Dorset.
We walked round a bend and came upon a glorious sight - our destination and the main reason for choosing this walk. What we saw will remain with us - I wouldn't want to spoil the surprise for anyone who hasn't visited this amazing place!

The second half of the walk was less interesting as it took us through farmland and back on to the road leading to the cars. When it started raining heavily we knew it was time to go.

Marsh Thistle
Cirsium palustre

Hedera helix

Arum maculatum

Hyacinthoides non-scripta

Yellow Iris
Iris pseudacorus

Barren Strawberry
Potentilla sterilis

Pedunculate Oak
Quercus robur

Corylus avellana

Crataegus monogyna

Ilex aquifolium

Stinking Iris
Iris foetidissima

Water Mint
Mentha aquatica

Ribwort Plantain
Plantago lanceolata

Greater Stitchwort
Stellaria holostea

Green Hellebore
Helleborus viridis

Ilex aquifolium

Chrysosplenium oppositifolium

Early-purple Orchid
Orchis mascula

Red Campion
Silene dioica

Adoxa moschatellina

Hart's-tongue Fern
Phyllitis scolopendrium

Polypodium vulgare

Dog's Mercury
Mercurialis perennis

Prunus spinosa

Achillea millefolium

Taraxacum officinale

Rubus fruticosus

Ulex europaeus

Fraxinus excelsior

Cramp Balls
Daldinia concentrica

Varicoloured Bracket
Coriolus versicolor

Glistening Ink Cap
Coprinus micaceus

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