Along the river Test in Hampshire
Mike and I had a lovely weekend away in our campervan in Stockbridge in Hampshire in May. We had the express purpose of walking along the river Test. Being from the chalky South Downs, we were attracted to a chalk stream!
We loved being able to park our van among the trees for the night.
As soon as we arrived we went for a walk amongst the damp foliage.
I identified the gorgeous flowers below as Midland hawthorn because of the leaf shape. The flowers were rather more blousy than I was used to with a regular hawthorn. Apparently it is found in ancient woodland.
These Birds nest orchids Neottia nidus-avis found in beech woodland were new to me. Although they were not in full flower, there’s nothing else they could be.
The next day we went for a lovely walk along the river, starting at Stockbridge and heading south towards Mottisfont. I hadn’t really expected to see Water avens Geum rivale but apparently it is found in this area.
The chalk stream itself was stunning, wide and shallow with fish in amongst the weed. The waterside trees were full of Mistletoe, Viscum album. (See main image)
Growing in the river itself was the eye-catching Marsh marigold, Caltha palustris.
On Danebury Hill Fort
A few minutes drive from Stockbridge was Danebury Iron Age Hill Fort. In the short grass I found a Common rock rose – Helianthemum nummularium. It took me a while to work out that the big leaves didn’t belong to it, so it wasn’t actually a wild strawberry! (The stems are actually reddish in the pic and the small leaves are lance-shaped.)
I have also been interested in plantains recently, so also photographed these Ribwort plantain Plantago lanceolata:
Read more about Danebury Hill Fort – it is a local nature reserve in Hampshire.