Thursday, 7 May 2015

Pulpit Hill Fort

The Iron age hill fort on the top of Pulpit Hill is another one of those places that gives you goose bumps as soon as you set foot inside it. Walking up through the woods to get to it is lovely ...

... but walk over the ditch surrounding the fort and it suddenly feels like you're somewhere else completely. You can sense the atmosphere and history of the place. It feels almost magical.

The ditch surrounding the raised hill fort is clearly visible
Tall, straight Beech trees are dotted throughout, providing dappled shade in the centre of the fort.
The centre of the hill fort
Look up and you suddenly feel very small! 
Tall straight Beech trees loom over when you stand in the
centre of the hill fort
There are lots of ferns growing within the fort. I love the shape of the leaves as they start to unfurl. They're like tightly curled fists that are about to unfold their fingers and have a really good stretch.


Not all of them are quite as neat and tidy as the rest!
I usually slither down the really steep slope to get down to Grangelands below, but today I decided to go the longer way down. I was really glad I did, as not only was it a much less terrifying route, but it opened out to reveal a fantastic view across the Chilterns.

I found Sanicle starting to flower and a pretty violet growing out of a fallen tree trunk. I love it when wildflowers make the most of their environment and grow in unusual places.


A violet growing out of a fallen tree trunk
I also found a huge Dryad's Saddle fungus growing out of a tree trunk.

I walked down part of the Ridgeway and re-discovered one of my favourite trees - a proper Robin Hood Beech tree. It's absolutely enormous and you can just imagine Robin and his merry men sat in all the branches.


A pair of Red Kites were flying together overhead and out on the grassland I found ant hills topped with the pretty blue flowers of Germander Speedwell.

Then on to Grangelands, where a Brimstone butterfly fluttered along next to me.


What a lovely way to spend a morning!

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