Categories
Local walks

Photos from walk on Thursday December 1st from Bury Down to West Ilsley & Scutchamer Knob


75 years ago, almost to the day, a JK Adams used the last of his petrol ration and drove up to the Ridgeway – maybe Bury Down, maybe Gore Hill – and contributed this piece for the Guardian Country Diary.

A Country Diary.

Berkshire, 3 December 1947

 

To-day, the last day for using one’s basic petrol ration, we drove in brilliant sunshine from Oxford to the Berkshire Downs. Where hedges with tall elm trees shut out the sun the night’s hoar-frost still lay on the ploughlands, but in open country the clods, caught by its rays, sparkled like jewels. A low bank of fog lay over the Vale of the White Horse and many of the hollows among the downs were lost in mist, but up on the Ridgeway the air was crystal clear and very still.

 

A thicket adjoining the Ridgeway at the place where we ran on to it was astir with the flutterings and callings of finches settling down to roost early, but out on the open downs scarcely a sound broke the stillness. Now and then a partridge would call and once or twice we caught the distant calls of larks flying low over the stubbles, but those were the only birds we heard, until three goldfinches flew over us uttering a faint twitter that grew softer and softer as they drew farther away from us, until we began to think it was only an imagined sound. [Source: The Guardian]

 

Today, however, no crystal clear air, larks or goldfinch; just a thick mist that stayed all morning.

 

We set-off along the Ridgeway

 

Scraps of wool, hanging off fences were moist from the fog

 

Linger, and you soon lose sight of the group

 

And I lingered for the rose hips

 

and moist ivy berries

 

and leaves on Hodcott Down

 

West Ilsley pond

 

with large ant

 

Chaffinch at Scutchamer Knob

 

The knob itself

 

And the trees arround

 

Who said there wouldn’t be many photos today?


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *