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Sussex Scrapbook ~ Nature walks throughout the year
Green Man
Saturday 10th July 2010
Coleman's Hatch - Hartfield - Wythiam - 500 Acre Wood - Gill's Lap - Coleman's Hatch
10.5 miles

After finding out that we could reach Ashdown Forest on the 291 bus we jumped at the chance of doing a summery walk in the 'land of Pooh' that would also have plenty of shade. With the temperature in the afternoon supposedly reaching the thirties, we were going to need all the help we could get to make it to the end of this 10 miler. With that in mind we carried extra water and I planned a route that would allow us respite in three churches and also take us through 500 Acre Wood (changed to 'The 100 Acre Wood' for the Pooh books).
There were very few humans about  today but we weren't the only ones keeping to the cool places: on three different occasions, whilst sitting quietly, we were interrupted by the flying hooves and cough-like barks of Fallow Deer as they realised there was already someone in their chosen spot.

For East Sussex this is a very welcome change.
We found that someone had been very busy putting up footpath signs and posts everywhere. Was it something we said?

Our start finish point: Coleman's Hatch church.
The Colemans were a 13th century family of charcoal makers from Hartfield who had their own gate (hatch) to the forest.

We found some great names on the gravestones. Herbert Bury was without doubt a Victorian.

Who would have thought of having England as a middle name? I'm off now to change my name by deed poll.
Gill found a Fanny Philcox, but has no intention of rushing off to change her name.

We had to cross the mighty River Medway twice today. The source is just a few miles down the road.

Hartfield church and not a cloud in the sky. Lots of Swifts though.

This beautiful Art Nouveau painting was in Hartfield Church.

Our route took advantage of both the Weald Way and the High Weald Landscape Trail.

Time for tea in a shady spot.

Well said!

A Common Green Grasshopper. We found a meadow chock-full of them.

A beetle larvae but I'm not sure which type. There are millions after all.

A male Stonechat keeps an eye on us.

Finally we end up on top of the forest, with huge views all around.

From Gill's Lap it's only a mile or so to the pub.

A well-earned wet one at The Hatch.