An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), a Site of Special Scientific Interest for its floral richness (SSSI), where cows and horses roam freely on commons and roads during the summer. Here is a wide expanse of limestone grassland with breathtaking views over valleys and water to far distant hills.
Thirty species of butterfly including the Duke of Burgundy fritillary, the Chalk Hill Blue, and the rare Adonis Blue thrive. Following a special breeding plan the Large Blue butterfly is flying nearby once again, for the first time in 50 years. Wildflowers include Pasque flowers, Rockroses, and 13 different species of orchid. There are small Juniper trees, a slow-growing native conifer which may live for up to 200 years.
Inspired by the beauty of the area, W H Davies wrote the poem Leisure – What is this life if, full of care, we have no time to stand and stare. Laurie Lee describes the countryside in Cider with Rosie thus ‘I remember, too, the light on the slopes, long shadows in tufts and hollows, and cattle, brilliant as painted china, treading their echoing shapes’.
A large contribution to the countryside is man made, in the form of honey coloured dry stone walling, houses and cottages. The roofs have an extremely steep pitch and are dressed in stone slate tiles.
Here is a timeless landscape of sheltered valleys, secluded woodland, open grassland, superb views, and beautiful architecture.
|Climb over the style and watch the evening sun go down|