Despite heavy rain which was sending a torrent of water down the adjacent lane, 10 members met in the car park of the Red Lion at Upper Basildon on Wednesday 18 May for a walk led by Susan and Peter Twitchett. The route led through the village to Emery Down Wood. Three-cornered Garlic, a plant which appears to be getting commoner in the neighbourhood, was seen in flower on a roadside bank. Within the wood, Sanicle and Broad Buckler-fern were noted and a number of Rowan trees were in flower. The rain stopped and the walk continued along lanes to a track which led westwards towards Quick’s Green. Tiny-flowered Early Forget-me-not and Common Vetch were found on a flowery bank at the start of the track. The route led through an attractive Beech wood, with fresh green leaves on the trees, and came out at the old chapel in Quick’s Green. High above, a Buzzard and a Red Kite were circling together, while a Song Thrush and a Blackcap sang nearby. Woodruff and Yellow Archangel were in flower on the bank beside the lane. The next footpath led steeply up beside an old chalk pit, across a wheat field and into a wood above old clay pits. There was a big patch of Wood Spurge above one of the pits. A zig-zag route back through Upper Basildon included a footpath near the school where Wych Elm and Field Maple were noted in the hedge. The walk was followed by an enjoyable lunch at the Red Lion.
Pictures by Laurie Haseler