Short hike up a hill with flowers and views
After lock-down was relaxed a little we took the kids for a short hike up the chalky Downs behind Alfriston in Sussex. In case you wonder how we managed to persuade a twenty year old and an eighteen year old to get exercise – we lured them out with the promise of doughnuts at the top of the hill.
It was a blustery day and a little overcast.
View from the top with millefleur foreground
You can see from the pic above that on a completely clear day the view can be fab! In the foreground you can see cowslip – Primula veris, germander speedwell – Veronica chamaedrys, plantain and probably birds foot trefoil (although I didn’t stop to check).
It was a great days for birds too – the skylarks gave a continuous display in sound and vision the whole time we were there, and we saw a pair of birds of prey circling over a nearby valley.
We passed flower meadows with red clover, buttercups and speedwell. My family was on a mission, so there wasn’t much chance of pausing for photography, but I did catch this snap of a butttercup field.
Sainfoin at Long Burgh Barrow
Near the neolithic barrow I spotted sainfoin flowers, Onobrychis viciifolia, which were gorgeous. Apparently they’re not all that common these days, but do get distributed in wildflower mixes – maybe it escaped from one of those! It was surprisingly bold and noticeable with red striped petals. Unsurprisingly it turns out to like chalk and was historically grown for animal fodder.
Its the season for germander speedwell and cowslips – I also spotted them recently on my hike over Seaford Head