Just after Lammas our daughter Rachel took us on this delightful Wiltshire chalk Downs walk, with flowers you don’t get up north, and too many butterflies to identify for sure. The six mile walk starts at the car park by north Wiltshire Golf course and heads east along a sunken Roman road, then down Horsecombe Bottom and past the hidden church of Calstone. It is obvious by now that the dominant umbiliferous around here at this time is wild carrot, never seen in the north, and much more attractive than our common Hogweed. Past South Farm turn north up a lane, soon along field edges till due west of Cherhill Hill, then climb up to it, with a view of the White Horse, which some liken to a white Llama. The chalk downs here at this time have quite a few lovely Chiltern Gentians, only seen in books before, and much bigger and showy than our northern Autumn Gentians; round headed rampions; scabious; restharrow; woolly and small thistles. Interestingly the National Trust website – they own the Down- does not mention the Chiltern Gentian. Wander through the extensive ramparts of the Iron Age hillfort of Oldbury, and turn down south on the Wessex Ridgeway. At the Roman road turn back home, but you will be delayed by the impressive number of butterflies, the ever present (this year anyway we’re told) painted lady; peacocks; red admirals; small blue; large white. Or so we named them. The Morgan Hill nature reserve can be returned through, but we stuck to the ancient way as it looked more interesting today. The combination of ancient pathways and fort, and the plethora of flora and insect fauna make this one of the best walks of the year.