Over 30 people walked up Pittern Hill to visit Kingstree Wood and Pittern Hill Windmill this afternoon, many of them visiting the wood for the first time. The sunny weather brought out the butterflies, including Orange-tips, both male (with orange tips to the wings) and female (white wings with black tips, with green-patterned underwings), Peacock and Brimstones. A range of birds was seen too – robin, blackbird, bluetit, goldfinches feeding on dandelion seeds, a jay and several swallows were catching insects over the windmill field. The swallows nest in the beams above the stables at Windmill Farm.
Dandelions gave plenty of entertainment for telling the time as well as feeding the butterflies and birds. The children enjoyed the challenge of identifying trees and shrubs by finding labels in a treasure hunt (and apparently the adults got a bit competitive about it too). After the effort of walking up the hill, and rushing around in the wood, the chocolate prizes (children only!) seemed to go down rather well. The labels were left up for any later visitors.
Both the Wayfaring-trees and Hawthorns were in flower, and the Ash leaves were just coming out before the Oak – according to the old rhyme ‘Ash before Oak, in for a soak’ we should still have more rain to come!
Many thanks to Brian Lewis for opening the windmill and telling us about its history. It is a lovely old building with a wonderful atmosphere about it, and there are many interesting old farming tools to look at inside.
If you haven’t been there yet, do go and visit the wood soon. It’s a peaceful place for a picnic – but if it has rained recently, watch out for boggy patches!
For more pictures, click below.