Walk Reports 2023


Tuesday 16 May 2023

Black Down and Burrington Ham

Nine of us set off from Strode Carpark at 9.45 a.m., sharing cars as convenient. We arrived at Burrington Ham Car Park in a little over half an hour.

What a glorious late Spring day with a fresh breeze to keep us moving. This was a walk of two halves, covering 3.5 miles and rising to 325 metres (1,066 ft) at its peak. We paused at The Trig for rest and refreshments and to enjoy the lovely views. Black Down is an open-access area mostly consisting of moors. The name Blackdown, I read, comes from the Saxon word “blac” or “bloek” meaning bleak, and Dun meaning “down” or “fort”. When I first lived in Blagdon village (on the northern slopes of Mendip), I thought it referred to the numerous fires which happened quite regularly in dry weather as a result of the careless disposal of glass bottles by day trippers.

The views are stupendous. You might also see wild ponies, deer, or Red Devon cattle roaming free. We only saw the wild white goats grazing on the slopes of Burrington Coombe as we approached the car park.

The lower Ham area is a much lusher environment. We enjoyed listening to birdsong, and seeing blue bells, cowslips, just one butterfly, some squinancywort (thank you Carol !), and a giant dark pink early orchid. I, for one, had never seen such a big one, which comment caused a general titter of hilarity!

Thanks everyone for making this such a fun outing. And then to The Crown at Churchill for light refreshment, and home.

Report by Veronica Hobbs
Photos by Veronica, and Jeff Eastmond

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