Thursday walk 16th May 2024 – Report

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    Andy Smith

    14 members and one Norwegian past member met at Moss Rake
    for a wildflower walk. We did the same walk on 3 June 2021
    and saw mostly the same flowers this time, although the
    weather was not as good as then. It was dry when we set out,
    but that did not last long. We started up Green Dale,
    immediately encountering a variety of flowers. Our volunteer
    flower monitor drew our attention to different species.
    Taking care not to step on a toad in a hole at the side of
    the path, we pressed on. A little higher up we saw a roe deer
    running along the side of the dale, and curlews could be

    Reaching Batham Gate, the old Roman road, we headed up it,
    soon turning off across Bradwell Moor to our coffee break
    stop at an old mine shaft. By now it was spotting with rain,
    and waterproofs were donned in expectation of the forecast
    heavy rain (which duly arrived shortly afterwards). At the
    top of the moor, we followed a track, bordered by a
    different selection of flowers, to Forest Lane.

    We left the road on a path heading towards Tideslow,
    passing a small pond containing tadpoles. After crossing
    a wall into the area of the old lead workings, we were met
    with a spectacular display of purple orchids. The orchid
    fields continued up to the top and down the other side.
    By this time, some of the party were feeling hungry but
    fortunately it was not far to our lunch place at High Rake
    Mine. The usual view from the bench, north over Bradwell to
    Win Hill and beyond, was less appealing in today’s rain, and
    most people huddled in the remains of the old mine buildings
    to eat their soggy sandwiches.

    It wasn’t the occasion to linger, and we were soon on our
    way again, through Little Hucklow, Coplow Dale and down
    through hay meadows sprinkled with numerous buttercups and
    other flowers, to Tophole Road. We soon turned off the road
    (except for two who missed the turn and rejoined us at
    teatime) up Jennings Dale and Hartle Dale, past many patches
    of bluebells, back to the cars. Distance a tad under 7 miles.

    Most of us enjoyed tea and ginger cake afterwards, courtesy
    of Rosy who unfortunately could not join us on the walk.


    Many thanks to Lin for the following list of flowers seen:

    Alkanet (Green or Large Blue?) – Anchusa
    Avens – Geum urbanum
    Birsdsfoot Trefoil – Lotus corniculatus
    Bluebells – Hyacinthoides, various
    Buttercup – Ranunculus, various
    Comfrey – Symphytum officinale
    Cornflower – Centaurea montana
    Cow Parsley – Anthriscus sylvestris
    Cowslip – Primula veris
    Cranesbill (unidentified) – Geranium ?
    Crosswort – Cruciata laevipes
    Daisy – Bellis perennis
    Dandelion clocks – Taraxacum
    Early Purple Orchid – Orchis mascula
    Forget me not – Myosotis avensis
    Garlic – Allium ursinum
    Goatsbeard – Tragopogon pratensis
    Herb Robert – Geranium robertianum
    Honesty – Lunaria rediviva
    Horse Tail – Equisetum arvense
    Lady’s Mantle – Alchemilla mollis
    Lady’s Smock/ Cuckoo flower – Cardamine pratensis
    Leadwort – Plumbago zeylanica
    Meadow Saxifrage – Saxifraga granulata
    Mountain pansy – Viola lutea
    Plantain – Plantago
    Primrose – Primula vulgaris
    Purple coltsfoot – Homogyne alpina
    Red campion – Silene dioica
    Red clover – Trifolium pratense
    Speedwell – Veronica persica
    Star of Bethlehem – Ornithogalum umbellatum
    Sweet Cicely – Myrrhis odorata
    Vetch – Vicia cracca
    Violet – Viola odorata
    Water avens – Geum rivale
    Yellow rattle – Rhinanthus minor
    Yellow Loosestrife – Lysimachia vulgaris

    Linda’s photo:
    She says “It was a good walk. Great flowers, company and hospitality!”

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