Open University Exploring Nature Walk

Monday October 29th 2012
Ridgeway Hill

On what had been up to then a pretty wet day, we were pleased to get rained on only for about 90% of the time on this walk, and at least it wasn't cold.

Not that the weather made any difference because we were at one of the most archaeologically-rich sites this side of Orkney, with a world-famous collection of burial mounds overlooking the enormous ridges of Maiden Castle. For me, all this evidence of our ancient ancestors makes this place positively bristle with atmosphere.

What it didn't bristle with this afternoon was birds. A Kestrel and a few Chaffinches was pretty much all we saw. And a very impressive flock of Starlings that flew just over our heads as we were getting back in the cars at the end.

The natural history highlights of the walk were definitely the plants, particularly around the new Weymouth Relief Road where the chalk soil had been turned over at the top of the embankments. All sorts of species had obviously been dormant in the soil until the new road was built, when their seeds were suddenly exposed. The best of these species was Field Pansy, not a rare plant but a lovely little flower nonetheless.

Click on the photo to see the iSpot page where the identification will hopefully be confirmed.


European Gorse
Field Forget-me-not
Field Madder
Field Pansy
Field Scabious
Field Speedwell
Great Mullein
Greater Knapweed
Kidney Vetch
Musk Thistle
Pineappleweed (Rayless Mayweed)
Red Clover
Round-leaved Fluellen
Viper's Bugloss
Wayfaring Tree
White Dead-nettle
Woody Nightshade

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