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Ewelme – 19 August 2015

On a grey morning, Sheelagh Hill led a group of 21 walkers around the fields surrounding the ancient village of Ewelme in Oxfordshire. They started from the Recreation Ground car park and headed into the village to admire the school, alms-houses (Brown Argus on the lavender) and the church before taking the Chiltern Way eastwards into the countryside. The footpath followed a field edge, the fringe of which offered a number of arable weeds including Fumitory, Wall Lettuce, Alsick Clover, Red Bartsia and Bristly Oxtongue.

The route descended to a country lane (leading to Cookley Green), off which a small group headed along Swan’s Way and Potters Lane back to Ewelme.

The rest of the group set off up the path which climbed very steeply through the woods to the top of Sliding Hill. Dewberries, with a dull blue sheen, were seen beside the path. Plants growing on the short turf on the open chalk hillside included Squinancywort, Common Rock-rose, Dwarf Thistle, Viper’s-bugloss and abundant Wild Candytuft. Butterflies included about 6 Silver-spotted Skippers, a Brown Argus and a few Common Blues. While walking back towards Ewelme along a footpath through cornfields, a Magpie moth was a good sighting.

After a pub lunch, the group reconvened at the Watercress Beds for a film of the history of the beds (started in 1890) followed by a guided tour, in the rain, by two conservation volunteers. Although already gone over, this year there were Bee, Common Spotted, Southern Marsh and a Pyramidal Orchid. Ox-eye Daisies and knapweed have been attracting Small Tortoiseshell Butterflies, but because of the weather we did not see these although earlier in the walk we had seen Small Tortoise Shell, Painted Lady and Common Blue.

Agrimonia eupatoria Agrimony
Ballota nigra Black Horehound
Bryonia dioica White Bryony
Centaurea scabiosa Greater Knapweed
Clinopodium vulgare Wild Basil
Cymbalaria muralis Ivy-leaved Toadflax
Dipsacus fullonum Wild Teasel
Euonymus europaeus Spindle
Euphorbia helioscopia Sun Spurge
Euphorbia lathyris Caper Spurge
Fallopia convolvulus Black-bindweed
Hypericum sp (probably H. perforatum) St. John’s-Wort
Knautia arvensis Field Scabious
Lamium album White Dead-nettle
Lactua muralis Wall Lettuce
Linaria vulgaris Common Toadflax
Odontites vernus Red Bartsia
Origanum vulgare Wild Marjoram
Papaver rhoeas Common Poppy
Pastinaca sativa Wild Parsnip
Reseda luteola Weld
Rubus caesius Dewberry
Silene latifolia White Campion
Sonchus arvensis Perennial Sow-thistle
Symphytum officinale Common Comfrey
Tamus communis Black Bryony
Tanacetum vulgare Tansy
Trifolium campestre Hop Trefoil
Trifolium hybridum Alsike Clover
Tripleurospermum inodorum Scentless Mayweed
Verbascum nigrum Dark Mullein
Viburnum lantana Wayfaring-tree
Viburnum opulis Guelder Rose
Swyncombe Downs/Sliding Hill
Asperula cynanchica Squinancywort
Campanula rotundifolia Harebell
Carduus nutans Musk (Nodding) Thistle
Cirsium acaule Dwarf Thistle
Clinopodium vulgare Wild Basil
Echium vulgare Viper’s-bugloss
Euphrasia sp Eyebright
Fumaria officionalis Common Fumitory
Helianthemum nummularium Common Rock-rose
Iberis amara Wild Candytuft
Linum catharticum Fairy Flax
Lotus corniculatus Common Bird’s-foot-trefoil
Picris echioides Bristly Oxtongue
Polygala vulgaris Common Milkwort
Reseda lutea Wild Mignonette
Scabiosa columbaria Small Scabious
Thymus polytrichus Wild Thyme