Friday, October 14, 2005

Gems close to home

We have walked parts of the "Strawberry Line" disused railway path from Yatton to Cheddar several times in the past but somehow never the section between Winscombe and Cheddar - which includes Shute Shelve tunnel. I always know it was there - was even conscious of it driving very near on the nearby A road. My explorations of the Mendips have come near from both directions several times.

This is a very worthwhile walk from all sorts of points of view and it was good to see so many locals making use of it on an ordinary October day last week. Botanically it is clearly very rich - with a few gems for me to pick up this late and clear signs of many others for the main summer months.

The tunnel is surprisingly eerie on the first walk through alone - for one thing it is deceptively long - you enter thinking you will be out in a trice but actually it gets quite spooky half way with a lot more steps to go...

There was a lovely Liverwort (?) at the north portal - just oozing moisture. I must learn more about them.

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