April Walk – A botanical delight

A small group of us braved the rain to meet for the start of the walk at the Walton Arms. Luckily the rain soon stopped, brightening into a very pleasant day. Frank, of course, made his way to the start (and home again afterwards) by boat.

Natalia had prepared for us an excellent walk which showcased a number of herbs: some growing wild and others planted. We started by going eastwards along the canal to Hough’s Lane. We went over the bridge and along the lane, turned left and passing Hillfoot Farm headed towards Hill Cliffe. This was the first stop in our tour, just after the farm. The first plant Natalia showed us and discussed, was Greater Celandine which was growing by the side of the path. Used for liver disorders Natalia snapped a stem to show the orange bile coloured sap inside.

Making way for another walking group heading down the hill, we carried on up the hill and turned right heading towards Park Lane. On the way we were treated to an explanation of the uses of Cleavers, Hawthorne, Nettles and Lungwort. Heading back past the reservoir to Hough’s Lane we turned left at the golf course into Walton Park where we encountered other plants on our way including Horse Chestnut. At the sensory Garden in the park, a number of herbs including Lady’s Mantle, Dill and Rosemary were discussed.

Continuing through the park, we found our way back to the Walton Arms where the staff managed to pull together a table for us all. Fine food and good company, it was a most excellent day. David however was a little disappointed to find out that the Doombar was not available! Thank you Natalia for a really interesting walk.