Brede Valley

3rd September 2007, Monday

An afternoon walk around the Gateborough / Eastborough area proved a little quieter than of late, with just a scattering of sylvia warblers in the hedgerows and a small number of hirundines overhead, but it was apparent that Yellow Wagtails were making use of the stubble fields close to Rye; farmhands working on new gates on the footpath commented on there being a ‘sizeable flock’ there when they had arrived, and certainly birds could be heard calling all the time.

Sadly for wildlife watching a small platoon of ‘infant infantry’ had spilled off the footpaths and into the fields below Cadborough. The children’s manoeuvres were monitored, unobserved, by a wary local fox.

It was pleasing to find Marsh Mallow growing at a couple of sites along the walk. Resembling a pale coloured small flowered hollyhock, the plant is now very local, favouring drainage ditches around Rye and Walland Marsh. The root used to be soaked until it became jelly-like; the original marshmallow sweet, and it was also a good local remedy for stomach and kidney upsets, and even sunstroke.

Nowadays it is vitally important for a nationally rare moth, aptly called the Marsh Mallow Moth, which has its U.K. stronghold in our RX area and should be on the wing just now – a good excuse for an early evening walk in the near future…