Sunday, 9 July 2017

The Chase

Cranborne Chase is such a wonderfully rich landscape, it's a diverse landscape too. It's high chalk ridges and hills rise from a rich undulating agricultural landscape of thick hedge bordered fields and isolated copses, through parcels, some extensive, of ancient woodland which cascades down  many of the combes and promontories that punctuate the two long ridges which straddle the Wiltshire/Dorset border. The land looks carefully sculpted, it's sensual curves, rounded and smooth.  At every turn are views that stop you in your tracks. And, throughout the diversity in flora and fauna, plant and insect life, in birds and mammals, and reptiles too, is extraordinary. I find it's a good environment to keep my wild plant knowledge (limited as it is) up to scratch by saying the name of a plant I see, recalling and reciting its properties or uses. There are just so many. It's not just nature which is abundant out here, but also our impact on it, from the affects of farming practices, through centuries of occupation, to monumental constructions, the Chase is packed with human history from our earliest of activities.  What a fantastic place to walk. I never get bored of threading the Chase's tracks.

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