On Salisbury Plain

Remembering – the poppy and the cornflower

My home looks out onto the chalk downland area known as Salisbury Plain. I am so lucky for I love chalk scenery and the plants and wildlife associated with it.

But unfortunately for me (although not for wildlife) most of my local area is a no go zone, being an artillery range. You tend to get faced with signs like this.


If firing is in progress that wonderful system of flying a red flag warns you.

image004But there are areas with access when flags aren’t flying and the ridgeway path is open and that allows you to see plenty of marvels.

Here we have a dry valley which would have pleased my inspirational geography teacher, Mr Cole.

image006The valley formed in an ice age. Water normally seeps through chalk to emerge at the spring line lower down, but when the water in the chalk froze then rainwater did form streams which cut valleys. And here we have a youthful valley with interlocking spurs – in fact everything but the stream.

But this was a flower spotting trip and just look at these cornflowers.

image008What beauties.

image010But it was another flower that had caught my eye from afar and I had set out to see – the poppy.

image012And there they are, en masse, in a field nominally of oil seed rape. But what a sight these were just above the village of Urchfont.

image014This was back in June 2007. As was discovered in World war One, poppies grow well when soil is disturbed for the first time.

Oh, as a little extra, where we in the UK use the poppy as a symbol of remembrance, in France their equivalent flower is the cornflower. So we have a double dose of remembrance here.



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