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Sussex Scrapbook ~ Nature walks throughout the year
Green Man
Saturday 5th December 2009
Old lodge - Poundgate - High Hurstwood - Camp Hill - Old Lodge
8.3 miles

It seems to have been raining permanently here in Sussex for weeks now and we're all starting to suffer from trench foot and to smell like wet dogs. As we left home on the bike this morning the black clouds started dropping their cargoes on us once again, making us wonder if we were going to end up soaked before we'd even walked a step. By some sort of miracle the clouds all disappeared as we were filling with petrol, leaving behind blue skies and perfect conditions for what seems like our first proper walk for ages.
We parked at Old Lodge car park in the Ashdown Forest and took the Vanguard Way 1 miles southeast down to Poundgate and then a further 1 through to High Hurstwood. By walking westwards along Perryman's Lane and then Oldland's Hill (both very quiet lanes) we made our way to the outskirts of Fairwarp and met up with the Weald Way. We were going to visit the church at Fairwarp but with more bad weather predicted for the late afternoon and darkness falling at 4pm, we decided that we needed to follow this path the 3 miles back to the bike without delay.
Everywhere that water is able to pool, it's done so, and there are now large, new, duck ponds everywhere. The rivers and streams are all being pushed to the limits by the volume of water flowing from the hills and the very strong squalls have ripped the last of the leaves from the trees. As a consequence, the countryside in good old Sussexshire is now looking a bit smashed up and rearranged and most of the footpaths are really muddy. We like mud though, and this route gave us plenty of it plus everything else we required for an excellent, short, winter walk. Why don't you give it a go next weekend?


King's Standing, where we joined the Vanguard Way.


The forest looked stunning today despite the many storms of late.


The residue from natural foam on a pond's surface.


All of the woodland birds were evident today and none more than these guys.


 


 


The Weald Way, along which we've walked many times and can thoroughly recommend.


The woods are all becoming bare now allowing for better views of the birds.


Camp Hill