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Sussex Scrapbook ~ Nature walks throughout the year
Green Man
Saturday 4th October 2008
Dial Post - West Grinstead - Knepp Estate - Shipley - Dial Post
8 miles

We parked up at Dial Post not long before midday, our tardiness ensuring that once again we had to settle for a short walk. We think we may be getting lazy, so next week, rain or shine, we are doing a 15 miler. That'll learn us!
More like hamlets than villages, the points on our route today were all very small, quiet places, helping to ensure that we saw absolutely no one at all on our 6 hour walk. Our solitude was probably more due to the dismal, foul weather, which forced us to take shelter under large trees on several occasions. We wished that we'd brought full, winter-weather stuff with us, as it was as cold today as it was wet. If the temperature is the same or worse next week then we'll have to get our thermals out of mothballs.
West Grinstead is a tiny place next to the narrow river Adur and is the burial place of Hilaire Belloc the author who lived in nearby Shipley.
Knepp Estate
is a beautiful place, with: free-roaming animals, a large lake and thousands of old trees. You have to stick rigidly to the public footpaths but there is an access path to the old castle remains. The fields have all been churned up by the snuffling of the many Tamworth pigs.
Shipley is very pretty and the windmill is in perfect condition but by the time we got there the weather was getting very bad. We took shelter in the church where we ate our lunch and listened to the wind howling around the steeple.
We really enjoyed this walk despite today's conditions and we will certainly do it again in better weather. It may be a good area for a fungal foray in a month or so, and would be a perfect summers walk too.
All of the common farmland birds were present today, along with a few buzzards that were heavily mobbed by the numerous corvids, but the most exciting place for wildlife was of course Knepp Estate.

The origins of this strange name are still a bit of a mystery,
but may refer to the fashion of making large sundials on village greens in the 17th century.

St George's West Grinstead where the author Hilaire Belloc is buried and where the poet Shelly's parents were married in 1790.

Harvest festival decoration at St George's.

Gill in action on a 3 step stile

We found these, Knopper galls. They are acorns that have been mutated due to infestation by
the larvae of the gall wasp Andricus quercusfolii.

They weren't kidding either. Large herds of Roe deer, Exmoor ponies, Tamworth pigs and some Old English Longhorns.

Distinctive signs of pig snuffling

And you thought moles were a problem!

The paltry remains of Knepp Castle

Knepp Lake

St Mary's, Shipley

A grotesque inside the church

Shipley windmill