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Sussex Scrapbook ~ Nature walks throughout the year
Green Man
Saturday  2nd September 2006          
Duncton - Glatting beacon - Bignor - Sutton - Duncton
8 miles

Well it's official. It's autumn. That was our view when we walked in the Ducton/Bignor area of West Sussex today. Everywhere seemed to be carpeted with dead leaves and moss and had the unmistakable smell of autumnal rotting about it. We came across freshly sprouted fungi on all surfaces, including a perfect "chicken of the woods", loads of hazel nuts, elder berries, field mushrooms and punnets of blackberries too (we only wished that we had remembered to pack some tooth picks). Quite a good bit of hunter gathering! 
The walk took us from The Badgers pub near to Duncton Pump House and up onto the Downs to Bignor Hill via the most perfect public footpath that we have been on for ages. Then we came back off the Downs, through Bignor to Sutton. This area is all completely chocolate box views. We were walking in a rainy gale most of the day and it was still totally picturesque. We can highly recommend the White Horse pub in Sutton for its tea. 3 got us about 3 cups each. From Sutton we headed across Burton Mill Pond back to the bike. 
The walk was about 8 miles, circular, passes a private chapel (for sheltering from the rain), visits 2 of the prettiest villages in Sussex, a pub/tearoom, lakes, rivers, panoramic views, ancient burial grounds, a dismantled railway and was totally brilliant! Why don't you go yourself?

It certainly didn't seem like there was a drought going on today. We were constantly surrounded by rain, moss, trickling water, fungi and the smell of dampness (including our socks).


Chicken of the woods (Laetiporus sulphureus)

The private chapel of Burton Park House. We ate our sandwiches in there out of the rain.

On the wall, the heraldry of Charles I. Above it, the warning to the locals who may have harbouring thought of revolution: 
"Obey them that have the rule over you".

Inside it is very simple and rustic. In this area you can see churches in every direction. 

A lot of fungi around today. Think these are Poplar Fieldcaps (Agrocybe cylindraecea)

Fairy Inkcaps (Coprinus disseminatus)

I have to take pictures of all of them!


As well as public footpaths, we also travelled on the South Downs Way and the Serpents Trail. We did get a bit wet, but we had dried out by the time we got back to the bike. It was about an hours ride to Duncton and the easiest way is to go A272 via Petworth.