Quantock Hills Blog

Springing forward into summer

- Ranger Tim enjoys Cothelstone Hill

Tim Russell

Posted by Tim Russell on 10 June 2013

Springing forward into summer It’s on days like these that I particularly appreciate my job. Blue skies, green hills, tree blossom, ponies, bluebells and sunshine!

Checking on the Exmoor Ponies has been a bit of a treat lately ... Spring has finally decided to literally spring into action just as summer is supposed to start.

I write this 2 weeks before the longest day, so I guess we can say that we’re in summer?  The ponies have now shed their shaggy winter coats, and are looking sleek, shiny and dappled in their new summer coats.  Over the last few weeks the cuckoos have been active, so you may have heard their disntinctive call.  Nationally cuckoos are declining, but they seem to love the scattered old hawthorns as perches and Cothelstone Hill has become a good local spot for watching and listening for them.

There is a  wonderful splash of colour at the moment, the vibrant blue of the bluebells, bright red of the campion and the lovely white of the stichwort (greater and lesser!).  ‘Wort’ is middle english meaning plant, and was often used to treat diseases.

Much of our wildlife, both flora and fauna seem to be a few weeks behind in their normal spring development, resulting in a riot of colour and activity.

If you fancy a beautiful circular walk around Cothelstone Hill here is a downloadable walk,  so get out onto the hills if you can, they’re looking fantastic.




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  • No avatar available
    Pam Bowen

    22 Jun 13

    what a lovely desciption

  • No avatar available
    Amanda Jones

    01 Aug 13

    The Exmoor ponies are beautiful and I have fond memories of them. I haven’t visited the hills for some time now but the way you describe them this summer is wonderful. Last time I was there I had a wonderful weekend roaming around the flora and fauna, observing wildlife so closely with pure delight and looking across the sea to my home town with awe and wonder. The hills are a must for anyone to visit and it sounds like you are the one to guide us all along with your passion and expert knowledge. Families will love it and I can’t wait to bring my children into the experience.

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