Poking around in the grass

Give this little exercise a go.

Your task is to download a walk from go4awalk.com and walk it at the first opportunity.

At some point in your walk, have yourself a long break and have a root about in the grass. Have a good old poke around and see if you can find just one thing.

The one thing I want you to look for is a little yellow flower with four petals. It's a little rose called the Tormentil. It is quite common on our hills (though not on chalk grassland).

Tormentil (Potentilla Erecta)

When you find it don't pick it!

Have a really good, close-up look at it.

I mean really, eyeball close.

Use the magnifying lens on your compass.

Try to see what is in the middle of the flower. See if the stems are furry or smooth. Have a good old stare at the thing.

Isn't this little flower one of the most beautiful things you have ever seen?

And the next time you go for a walk, you'll be seeing Tormentils all over the place, and, you'll be able to bore all your friends with a cry of Tormentil (Potentilla Erecta)!

They are flowering from June till about September by the way.

Why choose tormentil? Well, it's a start.

The point is that there is much more to look at on a walk than the view.


© Mike Knipe. Mike Knipe is an experienced outdoor enthusiast, walk leader and writer who has worked with Durham County Council and English Nature (aka Natural England).

Other articles by Mike Knipe on go4awalk.com include: The Mike Knipe Column, The Art of Getting Lost . . . , How to start Peak Bagging . . . , How to sound like a walking expert . . . (writing as Gnasher the Dog) and Is That A Mitt In Your Pocket - Or Are You Just Pleased To See Me?


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