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cou­ple of ea­gle-eyed spot­ters no­ticed some other in­ter­est­ing species. On one of the slop­ing chalk banks a huge Ro­man snail was hun­kered down and, when re­moved for close in­spec­tion, she re­vealed that she was guard­ing a small bur­row in­side which were a hand­ful of pearl-like eggs.

The du­ti­ful par­ent was re­placed straight away and we felt priv­i­leged to have had a glimpse into the pri­vate world of this fas­ci­nat­ing mol­lusc.

A Ro­man snail – in­tro­duced by the Ro­mans, these are the largest of the Bri­tish snails The wild flow­ers at­tract an ar­ray of but­ter­flies, such as this chalkhill blue

Thou­sands of chalk fra­grant-or­chids cover the chalk grass­land at As­ton Clin­ton Rag­pits

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