Starting from Shenington, we headed towards Epwell through pasture land, mixed with arable and free range chickens. A bank of unimproved grassland was nice to find, and though rather heavily grazed a scattering of harebells had survived to flowering. This is a fairly scarce plant in our area. It was interesting to see an adjoining field, fenced off from grazing, and packed with field scabious and black knapweed.
|grazed vs. ungrazed|
|wild flower mix|
|cornflower and corn marigold|
There were many very nice hedgerows, packed with field maple, elm, blackthorn and wild plum. In places honeysuckle was also prominent. It was noticeable that ash predominated as the main hedgerow tree on the top of the slope (i.e. on the hill) while oak dominated down the slope and onto the plain.
|typical landscape of pasture and gorse-topped hills|
A little further on, a stretch of footpath approaching Compton Wynyates ran alongside some lovely habitat for farmland birds and butterflies - strips of wild bird cover and a corner packed with teasels. Lots of scrubby habitat here too. One to return to in autumn and winter.
Our main target of the walk was to scale Windmill Hill and enjoy the view across Warwickshire. The early 18th Century windmill has been restored and looks rather splendid.
Our 12K ramble had taken about six hours.