Posted: Wednesday 29th June 2016 by FrancesWeeks

Going out for a walk may be one of the more obvious ways to contribute to your 30 Days Wild but its no less brilliant for that!

My usual patch for walks is the woodlands around Ledbury - Dog Hill Wood and Frith Wood - or accross the fields to Eastnor. Or a little further afield to tackle the Malverns or the patchwork landscape of the Woolhope Hope. But with the weather set fair and a whole afternoon to while away, I headed west to the Black Mountains.

This part of Herefordshire feels like another part of the country entirely. The Welsh Borders have a wonderful wild landscape and a distinct culture of their own. I set my sights on Black Hill - the Cat's Back - and after a steep-ish climb was rewarded with wonderful views across the mountains and down to the parcelled fields of the valleys. Aside from the hill sheep, birds and a small herd of ponies, I seemed to have the whole land to myself with only an elderly tractor contentedly chugging in the distance.

Though my birding skills are woefully lacking and I had forgotton to pack my botany tome, their was plenty still to study as I walked along the ridge. From here you can clearly see patterns of vegetation created by grazing, the changes in the grasses as the slope ascends, the weather beaten hawthorns and exposed rocks. The enclosed fields, thick hedges and solitary farmsteads also told of how this countryside has been lived in and used by people over time.

Hopefully I absorbed enough fresh air to see me through a few days in the office!

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