Martin in Gatineau Park - 2018

Martin in Gatineau Park - 2018

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Friday 21 to Sunday 23 August 2009 – A Weekend around Much Wenlock

On Friday Sue and I were joined in the sunshine by Al, Hazel, Kate, Andrew, Helen and Jacob on this most pleasant excursion to Shropshire.

Much Wenlock is a land of giant pussies…


…where the residents worship in a giant building, parts of which are over 1000 years old…


…and the streets have anciently strange names…


We found respite in the shade at the excellent camp site at Sytche – only a short stroll from the centre of town….


…and enjoyed a fine sunset…


…before star gazing and a night time adventure in the nearby wood.

Saturday dawned earlier for some than for others.

We crawled out of the VE25 (a tent) to witness the following scene:


…it was a fine effort, appreciated by the entire team…


…then, whilst the grain was harvested from the adjacent fields, we set off up The Wrekin (a local Hill), followed every step of the way by the Paparazzi in Pink…


…the signposts were eccentrically informative – we chose ‘THE OTHER WAY’….


…and reached a fine viewpoint that even Andrew and Jacob may have appreciated…


….whilst the Paparazzi spotted this Red Admiral…


…and took a giant leap onto the unknown…


…before lazing with 40+ mile vistas and views into 17 counties…


…before leaving this fine spot; the Paparazzi making it down first…


…due to hunger – assuaged by the Talbot Inn’s fine fare – we wondered how much it had changed since they started serving food in the 14th Century, around 700 years ago…


…Sue experimented with hat making as an alternative form of pain relief…


…then we ambled around an Olympic Trail (I won’t bore you with its history here), admiring Raynalds Mansion – the frontage of a medieval hall added by John Raynalds in 1682…


…and passing more contemporary hostelries…


…before a spell at the playground, which was entertainingly close to the village cricket pitch (225 for 3 and still going strong seemed quite a good showing by the yokels)…finally completing the Olympic Trail, exhausted, at this commemorative bench…


…before adjourning for sausages and burgers, etc, back at the still sunny campsite, with crows coming in to roost and buzzards soaring overhead.

Sunday found us enjoying the fruits of nature on Wenlock Edge


…with cloudy views of The Wrekin…



“Here’s a Tree in Summer,
Here’s a Tree in Winter,
Here’s a Bunch of Flowers,
….April Showers.”


The pleasant 7 km stroll took us past Major’s Leap and above a quarry; large dragonflies zoomed around – certainly too fast for our cameras, so I made do with a few flowery snapshots…


I’m not an expert, but I reckon, clockwise from top left, that these may be:

Common Mallow (Malva sylvestris)
Common Centaury (Centaurium erythraea) – a pretty little gentian
Enchanter’s Nightshade (Circaea lutetiana)
Bramble (Rubus fruticosus)
Herb Robert (Geranium robertianum)
Field Scabious (Knautia arvensis)
St John’s Wort – not sure which one
Field Bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis)
Lords and Ladies (fruit only) (Arum maculatum)
(Edible) Hygrophorus leucophaeus, or is it the deadly ‘Death Cap’??!
Yellow Pimpernel (Lysimachia nemorum)
Broad-leaved Willowherb (Epilobium montanum)
Ragwort (Senecio jacobaea)
and Common Eyebright (Euphrasia nemorosa).

There was also lots of Yarrow, Hawkbit, Knapweed, Ling, Chervil and Self-heal, as well as much more that no doubt went unnoticed as we rushed back to Much Wenlock for a late lunch and an easy drive home under a darkening sky whilst England gave the Aussies a good spanking at The Oval, to win back The Ashes.

A lovely weekend, in a very pretty part of the world, despite its proximity to the ‘Black Country’.


John J said...

Shropshire really is a wonderful county, perhaps my favourite. And it's on our doorstep, how lucky are we?!


mike knipe said...

That certainly is a big ginger pussy. Remarkable. Well discovered, Martin.

Paul said...

Love the view from The Wrekin. And I'll be bookmarking this post for the mini floral field guide :-)

Phreerunner said...

Thanks All
John, the campsite (from your book) was excellent - the one you recommended in Little Stretton was full; next time perhaps, we certainly only scratched the surface of available activities - though my childhood was spent only a few miles from The Wrekin.
Mike - yes the big ginger pussy was, well, big, or should I say 'Well Big'.
Paul, you should bookmark Mark's 'Beating the Bounds' blog - his flower pictures are far superior to mine - maybe I need to develop a Picasa album with higher res images for the flowers....

Hendrik M said...

That sign is superb! I think that's a project to do myself and carry it into the wild!

Great flower and wildlife photos as well!