Where are we walking today?

Last year… well, a month ago actually, we joined a nature studies walking group… it has a slightly more impressive title than that in fact, but that is actually what it is. Walking somewhere interesting and looking at, identifying, discussing things we see around us, botany, geology, ornithology… there are no actual experts, only interested people.

Today we are walking through Weston Woods, described as ”covering an area of 130 hectares dominating the northern skyline of Weston-super-Mare’. The woods run along Worlebury Hill, which is a ridge of  carboniferous limestone  which sticks out on the north side of Weston, so that the town lies between it and Bleadon Hill opposite. It’s highest point 358. It sticks out into the Bristol Channel and from the end there are great views across the Bristol Channel to Wales.

The woodland is a popular place for walks, particularity with dogs, but has also been the site of less pleasant happenings, including the still unsolved murder of a woman some thirty or so years ago. However, I hope we will only see some of the creatures living there – or more likely their traces –    deer, badgers, foxes and bats and more likely some birds include woodpeckers, buzzards and treecreepers. We might even see some peregrines as they nest in a nearby abandoned quarry.

It’s an interesting and pleasant place to walk, of most interest to me is the Iron Age fort and settlement there, known as Worlebury Camp. Today we are meeting an expert in this fascinating and important old structure so I am really looking forward to that, more than to the walk if I’m honest! There are some large triangular platforms along the sides of the fort, and nearly a hundred storage pits which were actually cut into the bedrock. Over the years human remains, coins, and various artefacts have been found in them., Unfortunately some idiot vicar in the nineteenth century decided that the dramatic and naked promontory would be better covered with trees and planted a wood, thus destroying much of significant and interesting archaeological value.

The sun is shining and the sky is clear… we should have a great day!

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