‘Out & About’ to Farley Mount Country Park, Winchester, 23rd June 2022

It was disappointing that after several days of warm clear weather our trip to Farley Mount was on a day that threatened rain. This eventually came a couple of hours before we met, but eight members decided to risk the weather. It was good to have Ann, one of our new members, in the group.

Despite arriving in the sunshine, low grey clouds kept sweeping in and obliterated the higher clouds tinged pink by the sunset. Unfortunately, the earlier rain and the drop in temperature meant the insects disappeared too.

We explored the area as many of the group had never visited Farley Mount Country Park and there are some attractive features to photograph. Apart from the monument itself, there are some good views from the downland, an attractive “yew lane” used by the Romans and a line of lovely old beech trees. The original Roman road between Winchester and Salisbury runs through the valley bottom.

 From the downland and passing through beech woods we made our way up to the monument, hopefully, to capture some landscape shots, but the cloud, rapidly decreasing light, and distant water vapour haze made that an impossibility for land-based cameras. With the open country, however, it was perfect for John to fly his drone. His spectacular shots show just how versatile this genre of photography can be. We were all fascinated to watch, including John’s finale of trying to land the drone on a trig point! Drones will be added to Christmas Wish Lists.

Although the conditions were not great for photography it was lovely to get outside to meet up with each other again, have a natter and some fun.

Hopefully, members will revisit Farley during the year. Autumn is a good time to visit, with long shadows, rich colours and a good range of fungi in the beech woods. Crab Wood, further east towards Winchester on the current Sarum Road, is particularly lovely in spring.