JULY GOES WILD!

Four phe­nom­ena to brighten your walks this month.

Country Walking Magazine (UK) - - The View -

SALTMARSH FLOW­ERS

July is boom­time for the shrubs and flow­ers of the UK coast­line. For colour, head to Nor­folk, where the sea laven­der will be bring­ing a gentle mauve glow to the Nor­folk Coast Path, par­tic­u­larly be­tween Wells and Cromer. And for ed­i­bil­ity, head to the coasts of Kent, Es­sex and Devon, where you should find suc­cu­lent green marsh sam­phire (pic­tured), beloved of Masterchef con­tes­tants and also known as Mer­maid’s Kiss. Just tread care­fully though, and try not to dam­age the mud and marsh that nour­ish them. More at www.wildlifetrusts.org

CHANTERELLES

Not all UK fungi are ac­tu­ally beau­ti­ful, but chanterelles are, even down to the sonorous name. With their el­e­gant gills and apri­cot scent, they are gen­uine treats to find in the woods. They are edi­ble, but be­ware of the two in­sid­i­ous lookey-likeys: jack o’ lan­tern and false chanterelle, both of which are toxic. Our ad­vice is to lay off the scoff­ing un­less you’re with an ex­pert, and just en­joy the beauty. More at www.mush­room­di­ary.co.uk

DRAGONFLIES

It’s also the best time of year to see these busy lit­tle beasts in all their fin­ery. Al­most any lake or pond dur­ing July should be home to at least one of the most com­mon UK species, such as brown hawker, south­ern hawker and com­mon darter, as well as rarer beau­ties like the banded demoi­selle (pic­tured). Hawk­ers are the largest and fastest fly­ing dragonflies; they catch their in­sect prey mid-air and can hover and fly back­wards. Show-offs. www.british­drag­on­flies.org.uk

BASK­ING SHARKS

* Tries to avoid Jaws mu­sic * The warm­ing in­shore waters of the UK are a happy sum­mer hunt­ing ground for these 12m-long eat­ing ma­chines, which spend the rest of the year out in the At­lantic. Their dis­tinc­tive dor­sal and cau­dal (tail) fins can be spot­ted off the He­brides, Pem­brokeshire and South West Eng­land as they chase down their favourite prey, zoo­plank­ton. Find out more at www. shark­trust.org

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