Local Wildlife Walk 1
With Spring finally here and summer on it’s way, maybe you’re thinking of taking a little walk in the sun to breathe in some nature.
This walk is a gentle one, with some lovely scenery and opportunity to see some wonderful wildlife. It is intended to be undertaken in summer, so you can enjoy some summer butterflies (and perhaps take part in Butterfly Conservation‘s Big Butterfly Count), but really there will be lots to see no matter the time of year.
Overview: Mostly flat track and field, about 2 miles, maybe 2 kissing gates.
When: Mid July, a sunny lunchtime
Good for: Birds, insects (e.g. butterflies)
You can download Butterfly Conservation’s Big Butterfly Count ID sheet from here.
Start: Church of St James, Southstoke BA2 7DT
Start and end point: The Church of St James, Southstoke, Bath
There is a full map of the whole walk at the bottom of the page
With the church behind you, go left along the road, through the kissing gate and along the track. Where the track forks, continue up the incline, pausing at the top to enjoy the view at the Millennium Viewpoint. On returning to the track, continue left. After Sulis Manor, to your right, you will see houses being built behind a belt of trees. Directly to your right here is a long, South-facing grassy bank. Stay with the track, and pause a few times.
You May See
Small White, Meadow Brown, Brimstone, Gatekeeper, Skipper, Ringlet, Peacock, Fritillary, Red Admiral, Comma, Marbled White
Marbled White Butterfly
Holly, Beech, Ash, Buddleia, Elder, Cherry
Oregano (great for bees), Great Willowherb, Red Clover, Scabious (loved by the 6-spot Burnet Moth), Bramble, grass, Bedstraw, Nettle, Clematis, Woolly Thistle, Yellow Sweet Clover also known as Melilotus , St John’s Wort, Meadow Convolvulus, Pyramidal Orchid, Yarrow, Tufted Vetch, White Clover, Teasel.
At the end of the track, keep on in the same direction. Enter Derryman’s Field, which used to be a hay meadow and is rich in summer colour.
Among the tall grass you may see:
Large White, Meadow Brown
Toadflax, Yarrow, Meadowsweet, Ragwort, Red White and Yellow Clover, Tufted Vetch, Bedstraw, Small Mignonette, Chicory, Ox-eye Daisy, Betony, Red Barista, Mullein, Fleabane, Hogweed, White Campion, Woolly Thistle, Salad Burnet, Hoary plantain, Ribwort Plantain.
At the kissing gate at the end of the field is Combe Hay Lane. From here, retrace your steps to the start of the walk. You may wish to walk through the tree belt where you can, by the new houses and behind the stone wall on the stretch before the viewpoint.
By Sue Monk