Fringe Box



Photo Feature: Cornflowers, Poppies and Belted Galloways

Published on: 2 Aug, 2015
Updated on: 11 Aug, 2015

One of the joys of living in Guildford is our close proximity still, despite the inexorable suburban creep, to the countryside. Here are just a few images taken on a short bicycle ride along lanes and paths to the south-west of the town today, Sunday (Aug 2). Click on any image to enlarge.

Cornflowers & Poppies & Marigolds

These cornflowers, poppies and pot marigolds were seen in Littleton Lane. Presumably someone scattered a packet of wild seed – and what a result! In the past cornflowers often grew as a weed in corn fields, hence its name. In folklore, cornflowers were worn by young men in love; if the flower faded too quickly, it was taken as a sign that the man’s love was not returned.

Close to St Catherine's lock are these belted galloways, quite a way from their native Scotland. It's a shame that the Highland cattle that could often bee senn on Broom island have gone. The might have mooed with the same accent.

Close to St Catherine’s lock are these Belted Galloways, quite a way from their native south west Scotland. It’s a shame that the Highland coos that could often be seen on nearby Broom Island have gone. They might have mooed with a similar accent. Evidently, in the days before the railways, when cattle were driven from Galloway and Dumfries to Norfolk Fairs, the drovers always liked to have a “Beltie” in the bunch, so that in the dark days they could pick out the way the cattle were heading.

Just yards away was this ragwort

Just yards away was this yellow flowered ragwort, dangerous to horses and cattle if eaten in fairly large quantities. Ragwort also hosts the attractive cinnabar moth the striped caterpillars of which can often be found on the plant.


It seems that our friend Robert Craig, the local lengthsman and author of Riff Raff diary, has been busy repairing the tow path just downstream of St Catherine’s lock, much to the appreciation of local cyclists.

There are two Caucasian wing nut trees near where the river an the navigation divide between St Catherine's Lock and the foot bridge.

There are two Caucasian wingnut trees (Pterocarya fraxinifolia) near where the river and the navigation divide, between St Catherine’s Lock and the footbridge. A native of Iran, it is a rare tree in Britain and likes mild climates and a riverside situation. Each summer, it produces these eye-catching green catkins that can grow up 60cm (2ft) long.


St Catherine’s footbridge just upstream from the ancient ferry point. This area with the yellow sand, that probably gave Guildford its name, is still an attraction on a warm summer’s day – and why not?


The crown of this ash tree, near to the bridge, is showing no sign of the dreaded ash dieback disease that experts predict might practically eradicate the 80 million ash trees in Britain in coming years. What a tragedy that would be.

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Responses to Photo Feature: Cornflowers, Poppies and Belted Galloways

  1. Lisa Wright Reply

    August 2, 2015 at 11:07 pm

    What a treat to see such lovely views.

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