Scabious and ivy

As the autumn equinox arrives, the downs are browning and the last flowers support the last insects. The slope at Fackenden is now thick with summer growth; the marjoram and other summer flowers create dense blankets of green growth with a few flowers; the autumn gentian has gone over and only the devil’s bit scabious appears to be flourishing. The various shrubs including dogwood, whitebeam and blackthorn have sprung up and pepper the down like a rash.

Autumn downland

The butterflies include chalkhill blue, common blue and meadow brown and all nectar on the devil’s-bit scabious.

The small herd of Dexter cows have been brought back and over the course of the winter will remove most of the sward ready for spring.

Dexter cow

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