Meeting date: 20 May 2007
(Leaders: Nick Sturt and John Patmore)
Fourteen members walked out with owner Philip in sunshine to the accompaniment of a woodlark, beyond neglected garden grounds and into woodland punctuated with anciently pollarded beeches of massive proportions. On to some damp rides where the keen of sight pointed out Wahlenbergia (Ivy-leaved Bellflower) leaves, and a yellow-flowered Potentilla kept Rod and Elisabeth amused for ages. We tramped over the London-Brighton line past well-grown Red Oaks rising from last-year’s crispy bracken, and suddenly Rita found herself being asked considerately by the co-leader if perchance she were ready to dine. Little did she realise then that lunch was fifty more plant-filled minutes away, along soggy tracks bearing Oreopteris limbosperma (Lemon-scented Fern) and over muddy flushes studded with Stellaria uliginosa (Bog Stitchwort). At the picnic cuckoos called and then we set off down into a ghyll. Dryopteris carthusiana (Broad Buckler-fern) in profusion here, a small stand of Carex vesicaria (Bladder Sedge) and general lushness winding with the stream beneath tall alders – the feeling that we were treading in the Wildwood. Members seemed reluctant to leave and on our return to the cars we set out again for damp fields, whence back at snail’s pace to edge the total for the day past the 200 mark. I am extremely grateful to John, whose idea this was, to Sophie and Arthur who joined him on a preliminary visit, and of course to Philip: the enjoyment of all attending was more than evident.