Summer walk: Abbey St Bathans – Duns

Abbey St Bathans – Duns  24/06/17  ‘A’ Peter Gilliland  ‘B’ Kathleen Gilliland

On an overcast but very windy day 48 members set out for the Scottish Borders stopping for coffee at Heighley Gate Garden Centre. We continued on the A1 to Grantshouse then followed the A6112 to drop off the ‘A’ party on a side road near Elba swing bridge. While the party was getting ready, everyone else on the coach was watching a huge bull in an adjacent field. It was a pleasant journey  to Duns as we enjoyed lovely sunny weather and  glorious rural scenery. We parked in the primary school car park for the rest of the afternoon. 28 members set out on the ‘B’ walk, stopping for toilets at the library before going into Duns Nature Reserve. Lunch was next to Hen Poo Lake where ducks and swans were very interested in our sandwiches. There was also a herd of cattle in the unfenced field and a couple of young bullocks became very inquisitive and got a bit frisky so it wasn’t long before we were on our way again. At the far end of the lake, we stood and admired the wonderful display of yellow water lilies. Stony tracks were followed through the woodland giving us shelter from the wind. Several trees had blown over  and we also saw the top half of one tree lying adjacent to its upright trunk. As we walked through a glade where trees had previously been felled the area was covered in the bright purple flowers of foxgloves with a sprinkling of white foxgloves. Wide forest tracks were followed back to Duns. Hugo’s cafe did a roaring trade as well as the gift shop No. 18. Even the ‘A’ party had time for refreshments when they returned. The evening stop was in Morpeth. Flowers: birdsfoot trefoil, eyebright, foxglove, white foxglove, green alkanet, heath bedstraw, herb bennet, herb robert, ling, lousewort, milkwort, orange hawkweed, pyramidal orchid, rosebay willowherb, tormentil, white waterlily, yellow waterlily. Other: buzzard, mallards, mute swans & 4 cygnets, pied wagtails.

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