Nature on the Line

Nature look-out – what to see down the line.

Heritage railways are a haven for wildlife as they are often undisturbed for long periods of time. Planting and managing hedgerows can create corridors along which wildlife can travel between what otherwise might be fragmented communities that may be too small to survive. This is what might be seen along our line between Wallingford and Cholsey during the Summer months.

Towards the end of June numerous Pyramidal Orchids flower just to the Wallingford side of the crossing. Mostly they are dark pink in bud and lighter pink when the flowers open but there are also one or two white flowered stems and crosses between the two produce a range of pale pink flowers. The white flowered stems seem to have fewer flowers and are generally weaker.

The Ox-eye daisies are at their best along the embankments during the Summer and the leaves of several walnut trees along the line become fully expanded, like beech trees they are the last trees to come into leaf. In June there are numerous flowering Verbascums (V. nigra) in the banks either side of the tracks, these often hybridise with garden Verbascums so the colour and flower size can be variable.

The Wallingford Fryer - Fish and Chips Train

The Wallingford Fryer. Saturday 17th August.

Enjoy an evening on the Bunk Line with a fish and chip supper.

Another plant that becomes all too obvious are the horsetails which are abundant along Sewer Straight. These plants are hard to control, although anecdotally less abundant than they used to be, when they first emerge through the ballast they look finger-like, pink with a darker tip, but by late June they are green and photosynthetic. These are close relatives of the plants that thrived at the time of the dinosaurs.

The gravel pit lakes in the Grundon workings are vibrant habitats for various species of aquatic birds including Great Crested and Little Grebe, Tufted Ducks and Mallards, Coots, Moorhens and Grey Herons. Along with the large local population of Red Kite, a Fox is often seen crossing the railway line between the level crossing and the station, Roe Deer and Muntjacs can be seen in the adjacent fields, a Barn Owl is often hunting in the early evenings, and the indicator lights for the crossing continue to be a favourite perching spot for a Buzzard.

Hard to spot is Marble White Butterfly, there often seems to be a small number of these on a summer’s day either side of the main level crossing.

Start your heritage railway journey today and book your tickets to travel through the countryside on "The Bunk"

Pie and Mash

Pie, mash and a pint. Saturday 29th June.

Enjoy a locally produced meal of Pie, Mash and seasonal vegetables.

The Wallingford Fryer - Fish and Chips Train

The Wallingford Fryer. Saturday 17th August.

Enjoy an evening on the Bunk Line with a fish and chip supper.

Cream Tea

Enjoy a fabulous cream tea whilst riding behind a heritage locomotive through South Oxfordshire. Available Sunday 16th June - SOLD OUT, Sunday 25th August and Monday 26th August.

Our amazing cream teas are back in 2024 with Cream Tea trains running on Fathers Day and various dates during the year.

Start your heritage railway journey today and book your tickets to travel through the countryside on "The Bunk"

Running Days 2024

June 2024

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July 2024

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August 2024

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