West Knighton: where the lambs will eat you for dinner

HELP! We’re being attacked by a flock of man-eating lambs!

Hot breaths rasp in my left ear as I crouch down to say hello. There’s a persistent tugging on my arm, where another little lamb has got hold of my cardi. A third butts me gently from behind. And is that a nip? “Get off my trousers,” we cry in unison.

It's a two-pronged attack!

These lambs are only two feet high, but they’re very quick. Seemingly stand-offish at first, they pause tearing up the green grass and trot over to inspect what edible clothing we might be wearing.

Luckily, their intentions are more affectionate than deadly, and in turn I realise I’m very fond of lamb (both on and off the plate). Maybe I should consider becoming a vegetarian.

We’re in a field between Broadmayne and West Knighton, two villages where a veritable zoo of English wildlife starts, sings and swims. (Well, there’s a fish farm).

A woodpecker taps away in a tangle of woodland. It sounds like teeth chattering. As we crash up a path, a Sika deer gallops away. A robin sits small and throatful in a bush, joining in the general twittering.

A bumblebee bounces past celandine-strewn walkways.

We feed bites of apple to a grazing horse (I’m sure the owner wouldn’t thank us for that), and stop to stroke a cat sat on wall next to an old churchyard. It tries to bite!

It’s hazy, but bright. We sit in the middle of a vast meadow, munching on fruit, listening to kids playing in the woods.

We trundle up a wheatfield past the muddy hoops of horses’ hooves.

To get this far, we have to hop over at least 15 stiles and turn through the same number of kissing gates.

Darling thatched cottages give rise to the usual refrain – could we live in West Knighton? No mobile signal. (That’s a no, then).

We tramp past the pink of cherry blossom…

…the happy splash of daffs…

Earlier, at my mum’s house in Upwey, we saw a marsh harrier (or was it a red kite?), soaring high above the back garden where we were planting a Golden Balls cider apple tree. It’s been a good day in Nature Corner.


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