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Sussex Scrapbook ~ Nature walks throughout the year
Green Man

Easter Sunday 8th April 2007
Ifold - Newpound Common - Kirdford - Plaistow
12 miles

The whole Easter break so far had been hot and sunny, so after having a rest yesterday we figured another 10 miler wouldn't hurt us too much. We started off from the village shop in a place called Ifold that is about 4 miles Northeast of Billingshurst. From there we were able to walk along the Wey South Path along the canal. This is still being restored by very keen volunteers and parts of it are now navigable. They expect to have the whole canal back to pristine condition within 15 years. In the meantime, we were able to watch a barge being passed through the first lock on a special Easter trip for children. All of the volunteers were in fancy dress, but were able to give us a working demonstration on lock use.
From the canal, we took a long circular path taking in Newpound Common, Kirdford, Plaistow and back to Ifold. All of which was very picturesque.
Plenty of birds today, Buzzards and a Sparrowhawk seen from the bike on the way there. Chiffchaffs were everywhere and we saw quite a few treecreepers too, a couple of which we saw nest building in a hollow branch.

The water level this side of the lock is about 3 feet higher than the water on the other side of the lock. This drop is not very high, but going over it in a long barge would break its back! The lock is therefore constructed to take the barge safely down to the lower canal height.

The barge comes into the lock and the wooden gates are pulled shut behind it.

The sluices in the gates in front of the barge are then raised and the water pours from the higher level to the lower level.

The barge sinks down 3 feet as the water level falls.

Then the front gates can be pushed open to let the barge out onto the lower part of the canal.