Open University Exploring Nature Walk

Monday June 11th
Okeford Hill

After a series of preparatory visits to this beautiful site on the day of the actual walk it was, of course, raining. Not that we were put off, we just appreciated the effect the rain was having on the plantlife. I've never seen such luxuriant foliage. And of course the mosses and lichens were really enjoying the wet weather. On the down side we couldn't quite see the seven counties that are supposed to be visible from here - but we certainly saw a good proportion of Dorset from 700 feet up.

The first leg of the walk was along the ridgeway before turning off to walk around the south (and sheltered) side of Turnworth Wood. Almost immediately a roe deer ran out from the filed on our right and crossed the path right in front of us. The contrast between the bright orange-brown colour of the deer and the brilliant green of the crop was stunning.

The next field appeared to be entirely sown with opium poppies. But we hadn't stumbled upon an outpost of the Taliban these poppies are apparently used to make pain-killers. See this Daily Mail article from 2008.

Our destination was the trigpoint overlooking the view south-east towards the Isle of Wight. Here is it's page at TrigpointingUK. , the site for trigpoint baggers.

Walking back through the woods we came across a couple of plants that looked as if they might be new to us. One was a fern that might be a lady fern and the other possibly a lady's mantle of some sort. See the links below for their pages on iSpot where I hope someone might recognise something in my awful photos.


Great Spotted Woodpecker
Wood Pigeon
Blackcap (heard)
Chiffchaff (heard)
Great Tit
Mistle Thrush


Roe Deer


Birds-foot Trefoil
Cow Parsley
Opium Poppy
Lady's Mantle? (see
Lady Fern? (see

Lady's Mantle?

Lady Fern?

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