Quantock Hills and Fyne Court

While in Somerset, I had the great pleasure of  experiencing the Quantock Hills.  These lovely, gently rolling hillsides are quintessential Somerset, and should never be adversely impacted by development or other unnatural impacts.  This area is a protected zone, designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It is a lush area full of variety, including farming, forestry and woodlands, wildlife, historic landscapes, recreation, and several places of education and information. The site of Fyne Court, formerly the home of the Cross family, is currently cared for by the English National Trust as a natural area.   My colleague, Sue Law from North Petherton served as my guide to this lovely area, and we spent an incredible afternoon exploring the hillsides.  Here we saw native plants emerging in their spring glory, fields brilliant yellow with crops of vibrantly blooming rape plants, the seeds harvested for its valuable oils.  It was lambing season, and all the sheep had little miniature ‘sheeplets’ at their sides.

Butterflies were everywhere, and we saw this lovely beauty.

Butterfly on spring flowers- Quantock Hills

Butterfly on spring flowers- Quantock Hills

Rape seed in full bloom, Quantock Hills, Somerset, England

Rapeseed (Brassica napus) in full bloom, Quantock Hills, Somerset, England

Rapeseed (Brassica napus), also known as rape, oilseed rape, rapa, rappi, rapaseed (and in the case of one particular group of cultivars, canola), is a bright yellow flowering member of the family Brassicaceae (mustard or cabbage family). The name derives from the Latin for turnip, rāpa or rāpum, and is first recorded in English at the end of the 14th century. Older writers usually distinguished the turnip and rape by the adjectives round and long(-rooted) respectively.[2] See also Brassica napobrassica, which may be considered a variety of Brassica napus. Some botanists include the closely related Brassica campestris within B. napus. (Source – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rapeseed and http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/5407832/The-rapeseed-revolution.html

Narrow lanes and high hedgerows

Narrow lanes and high hedgerows

Map of the Quantock Hills

Map of the Quantock Hills

Thousands of daffodils in bloom along the Quantock Hills lanes

Thousands of daffodils in bloom along the Quantock Hills lanes

Quantock Hills

Quantock Hills

Quantock Hills

Quantock Hills

A beautiful National Trust site called Fyne Court is a must see natural area high on the Quantock Hills, near the little village of Broomfield.

Spring growth along a stone wall at Fyne Court

Spring growth along a stone wall at Fyne Court

Stone Wall with lovely moss at Fyne Court Five Pond nature trail

Stone Wall with lovely moss at Fyne Court Five Pond nature trail

Path in the Fyne Court Pond

Path on the Fyne Court Pond trail

Moss growing in the undergrowth at Fyne Court

Moss growing in the undergrowth at Fyne Court

Further Information:

http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/fyne-court/

https://www.facebook.com/somersetcountrysideNT