There are a few of my favourite (free) things

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - GREEN SPACES - With MARY TEBJE of the Chilterns Tourism Net­work

HERE are some of my favourite free things to en­joy in the Chilterns dur­ing the sum­mer months. These Mediter­ranean mas­ters of mimicry, the Bee Orchid gets its name from its main pol­li­na­tor – the bee – which is thought to have driven the evo­lu­tion of the flow­ers.

To at­tract the pol­li­nat­ing bees, the plant has evolved bee-like flow­ers; draw­ing them in with the prom­ise of love, the bees are nat­u­rally at­tracted to the flow­ers.

Sadly, the right species of bee doesn’t oc­cur here in the UK, so Bee Or­chids are self-pol­li­nated. Spot­ted in any Chilterns meadow.

Ex­plore the time­less vil­lage of Ewelme with it’s me­dieval almshouses, still in use to­day.

The best cy­cle route in the land – the mainly on-road Chilterns Cy­cle­way is a cir­cu­lar cy­cle route through the Chilterns Area of Out­stand­ing Nat­u­ral Beauty. Many will find it is suit­able for a leisurely one-week tour.

But there are lots of op­tions for split­ting up the route into shorter sec­tions and ex­plor­ing a bit at a time.

Fol­low the Ham­ble­don Brook, just north of Hen­ley, with red kites soar­ing over­head to tiny Turville – home of TV’s Vicar of Di­b­ley and Bull and Butcher Pub.

Dis­cover the lo­ca­tions for sev­eral of John Nash’s paint­ings near Elles­bor­ough and Kim­ble on this lovely walk, scenes of many of his paint­ings.

Walk along the most beau­ti­ful stretch of the Thames­Path from Mar­low to Cookham. Five and a half miles and shouldn’t take longer than two hours.

Seek out John Piper stained glass de­signs lo­cated in many lo­cal churches.

Ex­plore the John Tweed (18691933) ex­hi­bi­tion at the Read­ing Mu­seum. He was a hugely suc­cess­ful artist who worked at the heart of the Lon­don art world and pro­duced im­ages of many lead­ing Vic­to­rian and Ed­war­dian fig­ures.

His public sculp­tures and war me­mo­ri­als can be found in Bri­tain and around the world and his pro­mo­tion of Au­guste Rodin led di­rectly to Rodin’s great gift to the na­tion in 1914 of 18 of his sculp­tures for dis­play at the V&A Mu­seum.

The belted gal­loway ‘Bel­ties’ on the Iv­inghoe Bea­con have quite a fol­low­ing!

Look for the signs of Wa­ter Voles such as bur­rows in the river­bank, of­ten with a nib­bled ‘lawn’ of grass around the en­trance.

The best places to spot wa­ter voles are along the River Chess and Ewelme Wa­ter­cress Beds Lo­cal Na­ture Re­serve on the first Sun­day of each month walk.

For more days out, visit

www.visit chilterns.co.uk

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