Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Larking around

On my trip to the recycling centre today (to drop off my weekends gardening clippings) I drove past Lodge Hill and couldn't help but notice the wonderful views of the windmill at Lacey Green and the chalk cross on Whiteleaf Hill.

Whiteleaf Hill and the chalk cross

Lacey Green windmill
It all looked lovely in the spring sunshine, so I stopped off on my way home for a quick walk around. Lodge Hill is an isolated hill in the Chilterns and is a Site of Special Scientific Interest due mainly to the chalk grassland flowers and butterflies found there.
Lodge Hill
I walked across a field to get to the hill and  disturbed several skylarks. They shot straight up in the air, flapping like mad, rising high up into the air and singing their distinctive song. I stopped and listened to them for a while and they kept on singing. One eventually landed not to far away, still singing. According to the RSPB website their recent dramatic decline makes them a red status bird.

I carried on and reached the foot of the hill. A pair of buzzards were circling the field, so I watched them for a few minutes then headed up the hill through the trees.

There were lots of interesting trees in the woods and some look very old.

After a steep climb, I reached the top of the hill and the trees cleared, opening out onto chalk grassland. Lots of very large yellow meadow ant hills covered the hill top and there were more amazing views of the Chillterns, from Whiteleaf Hill and the chalk cross, along to Lacey Green with the windmill and further round to Bledlow Ridge.

Then I headed back down through the trees, glad that I'd stopped and had a quick walk.

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