Thursday, September 2, 2021

Thursday 2nd September Totternhoe to Eaton Bray and back. 7 miles, 9 ramblers led by Ruth

This walk started at the N.T. car park and headed for the trig point in the centre of the Motte and Bailey. We then descended by a steep chalky path down to the nature reserve, a few of the party electing to go around the easier way. This is a wealth of chalk flowers and we spotted Eyebright, Sainfoin, Autumn Gentians and the parasitic wasp gall on Rose, known as the Robin's Pin-cushion. I had intended to have coffee break there, but it was too early and rather noisy as strimming was taking place over the the East and the smoke from their bonfire drifting over. 

 Rose bedeguar gall (Diplolepis rosae) - JungleDragon

We descended steps and a path to the main road through Totternhoe and headed towards Eaton Bray. We stopped in a field of sheep to scrump some damsons - still a bit under-ripe, then in the next field had a brief coffee break before continuing. 

 We turned South with an excellent view of the Dunstable Downs ahead, then had our lunch at the rec ground it Totternhoe. 


Next we ascended a gentle bridleway to the 'butterfly seat', and walked through the edge of the Maiden's Bower and the edge of the extensive chalk quarries.  We had a short water stop at the top of the next nature reserve and the party had a choice: descend down another steep chalky hill to hunt for the Chiltern Gentian, or take the easy route around. Beryl and I descended into the lovely chalk spoil heaps and the gentians were lovely, but all seemed to be the Autumn Gentian again. We reunited with the rest of the group and reached the carpark at 2pm. 

Track of walk, walked in anti-clockwise direction

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