One day in the 2017 Festival of Archaeology fortnight, a group of enthusiasts for archaeology, plants, and butterflies visited the small nature reserve at Lambourn Seven Barrows (Berkshire, UK).
The seven barrows are the earthwork remnants of a Bronze Age cemetery of perhaps as many as 40 burial mounds. Most of the 40 are ploughed-out shadows of their former selves.
The barrows are stacked along either side of a now dry coombe on the chalk Downs north of the small town of Lambourn. They were visited by Anglo-Saxons who buried their own dead in and around the mounds. At the head of the coombe is an earlier long barrow. All that remains of that neolithic burial mound is a slight rise in the ground and two sarsen stones, hefted to the wood bank of Westcot Wood.
Thanks to the West Berkshire Countryside Society and West Berkshire Heritage, our eyes accustomed themselves to the disc, saucer, bowl, and bell barrow shapes; we spotted marbled white and little blue butterflies, and cinnabar caterpillars; we tiptoed around birds-foot trefoil, harebells, knapweed, silverweed, salad burnett, scabious, ladies bedstraw, and pyramidal orchids. We heard ravens.