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Sussex Scrapbook ~ Wildlife walks throughout the year
Green Man
Saturday 10th December 2011
Wythiam - Groombridge - Harrison's Rocks - Motts Mill - Wythiam

Many apologies for the lack of postings recently, I've been spending all of my spare time helping to set up 1st Crawley Scouts - a brand new Scout group in Crawley which after closing down about 6 years ago has been newly reformed and recreated. We now have a brand-new-looking old hut (the one I went to as a boy) and 10 keen Scouts who are getting trained in all of the skills that have helped this old-timer to enjoy nature all these years without being found dead in a ditch somewhere!
So far, since the end of September the boys (girls are allowed in Scouts too but so far it's just boys) have been on a camp and three hikes, one of which was a competition hike. They also get up to all sorts of scrapes in the hut once a week and make a hell of a lot of noise while they're doing it too. All of this, apart from the shouting and screaming, takes a vast amount of organisation and red tape which can leave you really wiped out. But now at last it's all starting to flow along a bit easier - spreadsheets and computers are taking care of some of it and once again I have time to document our own meanderings, wanderings and wonderings. I've made a couple of little films of the Scouts adventures you might like to see though.

Gill and I have also been out and about on targeted birding jaunts. One was to see the Short-eared owls at Waltham Brooks. These beautiful winter migrants have turned up in astonishing numbers this year and can be found right across Sussex.


So today we set off on the Sportster through East Grinstead and out to little Wythiam near the Kent Border. I've ordered new suspension for the bike this week as the old ones just can't handle the state of the roads anymore. Nor can my back, nor Gill's bum! Also the roads were icy so we had to take it very easy indeed.
Anyway, we picked a perfect day for walking: sunny but chilly with a sky of blue and cirrus clouds all over. We did mess up a bit though: we (Gill) took far too long getting up this morning (it's just so dark) and we took far too long to journey there, so by the time we got through Harrison's Rocks the light was going. As the temperature was also plummeting we took the easy option of a march along the "Ladies Mile" back to our start point via country road. Not an option we like to use much but it's far better than getting lost in a field, in the dark, in the frost. Next week we'll have new suspension - can't wait!


Hartfield church spire seen from near Wythiam.

Twice today we had to cross the National Cycle Track - too boring for walking on!

The newly-planted woodland.

Magic mushroom

Please be very careful with the rocks. Don't touch them if you don't need to.

Take the time to read the countryside code for yourself and please stick to it at all times.