19 September 1997

Flowers, lambs and Ironbridge

SOUTH Shropshire FWC enjoyed an exhilarating walk for their August meeting – as I can vouch.

We started out at Wyke Farm, Mary Whitemans home, and worked our way across the old vineyards to Benthall Edge Woods. There were hundreds of wildflowers along the hedgerows, sadly past their best, which was just as well as Mary had thought of getting us all to identify them – and I only know a few!

A stray lamb that had escaped caused us some amusement as we tried to reunite it with its mother the other side of a stile and luckily Barbara Pugh managed to catch it.

Up in the woods the limestone is criss-crossed with badger runs and the trees are strewn with wild clematis. We looked down the valley across to Ironbridge and marvelled at the size and height of the industrial chimneys almost hidden deep in the Shropshire countryside.

Three-and-a-half miles later it started to drizzle with rain. We nervously crossed a field where a bull and his harem were grazing and were pleased when we reached Wyke Farm that the rain had ceased.

Marys garden is a treasure trove of unusual plants and so carefully tended. We were joined by her husband Roger for a delicious farmhouse tea, and an embroidery on their wall summed up the afternoon Happiness is catching, we get it from each other.

Jean Howells