I started out at the top of the hill and made my way down the path through the woods. First thing I came across was a badger sett with an incredibly steep slope outside the entrance. It also had two holes in front of it that looked like places where a tree had fallen on the sett and caved it in. If you looked closely you could see the tunnels deep down in the holes.
|The current entrance hole with the tell-tale pile of chalk scraping. In front there|
are two dark patches covered in sticks and logs. These appear to be places
where a tunnel roof has caved in.
|Scratch marks in the chalk|
|In the caved in tunnel you can see tunnels leading away.|
Gore alert: Skip the next photo if you don't want to see a bit of gore!
Back on the path a baby bunny had been killed by something, probably a bird as it looked like the best bits had been pecked out: the liver and heart.
I carried on down the path and took a sharp left onto the Pheasant's Path, where I reached one of my favourite trees.
|Pheasant's Path and a lovely old Beech tree|
There were lots of very well rotted wood piles along part of the path. They were full of centipedes, snails, worms, woodlice and all sorts of lovely little creatures. Bug Mad Girl would love to have a good rummage through there.
|A lot of wood had been left to rot - heaven for all sorts of minibeasts!|
|The trees opened out to reveal a glade in the otherwise shaded wood|
|Some very impressive thistles were growing in the glade|
|Black Hedge, running along the lower edge of the reserve|
|Black Hedge on the right, with the chalk cross on Whiteleaf Hill above|
I turned back and followed the path back past Black Hedge until I reached the bottom of the steep steps up the hill, where we usually emerge after following the Pheasant's Path. Now I was back on familiar territory and plodded my way up the steps and out onto the grassland slope, back up to the top of the hill.
|The view from the top!|
I'd hoped I might stumble across some White Helleborines (orchids that grow somewhere on Brush Hill in the shade of the Beech trees), but I think it may still be a bit early for them to flower yet. Even though I didn't see any, it was a lovely walk, I dodged all the showers and I really enjoyed exploring a new part of a very familiar reserve and finding out a few more of its secrets.