Leader Tom Rogers
The day began with persistent rain as six NATS members joined the leader on a walk of approximately 5 miles.
We started walking back along the road towards Great Elm. After about 150 yds we left the road & entered the Wadbury valley to walk beside the Mells stream. After a short while we came to the remains of ‘the Upper Fussells works’. The works were owned by the Fussell family where edge tools such as scythes & billhooks were produced.
We then moved into an area of conifers where one of the members who was a Tree consultant pointed out Spruce, Douglas fir & Western red cedar whose leaves when crushed smelt like pineapple.
Further on we came adjacent to a railway line which connects Whately quarry to the national railway system. We then sighted a Dipper that is regular on this river.
After crossing the Great Elm to Hapsford road we made our way down to the current eastern end of the Colliers Way. On the Colliers Way we made our way westwards towards Conduit Bridge from where we turned back towards the village of Mells. We again left a tarmac road and proceeded across fields towards Mells church. It was in these fields that the only butterfly was seen on the walk. From the fields we entered the churchyard through an unusual stile, invented in 1857, of which this is one of only three still surviving. After walking through an avenue of Yew trees we searched the graveyard to locate the grave of the war poet Siegried Sassoon who died in 1967. Also in the graveyard was a group of upright Oaks.
Finally we left the churchyard through a lychgate into New Street, which was designed in 1470. Across the High Street is the ‘Tithe Barn’ and ‘Mells walled garden’. Within the 17th century walls the garden is laid out with traditional herbaceous plants & cut flower beds. Also incorporated in the walled garden is a café. We finally returned along the High Street to our cars.
The walk was taken from Nov 2014 edition of ‘Mendip Times’.
Long Tailed Tit
Mouse Eared Hawkweed
Rosebay Willow Herb
Western Red Cedar