So why did I venture down this noisome track today? The fact is that a pit does exist about three hundred metres from the start. It was, I suspect, a source of stone two or three centuries ago for parts of Byfield. It fell into disuse and a small pond developed so my plan was to have a look at this potentially interesting site for insects.
As it happens I abandoned the plan because the area had become overgrown with nettles and brambles to such a degree that it was unapproachable. But all was not lost since for many years villagers dumped refuse there, often including throw-outs from gardens, and many of the plants had found it to be a congenial home.
One of these is the Musk Mallow, Malva moschata, in its white form 'alba'. Docks, nettles and other thugs of the plant world are overwhelming many of the less robust plants, but the mallows are currently holding their own. The flowers do indeed have a musky scent but this only become obvious indoors.
|Musk Mallow at Pit Lane, Byfield. 5 July, 2017|