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Saturday 12th July 2008
Billingshurst - Fittleworth - Pulborough
12.5 miles

This beautiful summers walk, with just the threat of rain showers, took us along the River Arun and its accompanying canal along the Wey South Path. The hedgerows were alive with small birds and insects, and when the air wasn't filled with the scent of meadowsweet and honeysuckle it was sickly sweet with the pungent perfume of the stinkhorn fungus.
We passed through woods of tall beeches to the accompaniment of blackcaps and chiffchaffs and through lush meadows of wild flowers escorted by linnets. The waters played host to dragonflies and damselflies and we watched closely as a Southern Hawker laid its eggs on the leaves of some Amphibious Bistort (
Persicaria amphibia).
While I was in the churchyard at Fittleworth, Gill managed to set of the church's burglar alarm by trying to discover why it had a chimney. She shot out into the churchyard looking very surprised. We made a hasty retreat!
At the quiet village of Stopham we watched a bat hunting insects in broad daylight; it tried to catch a small yellow butterfly, but was expertly out-manoeuvred by it.

There were only empty threats of bad weather today

Lording's Lock (TQ058 245), a great place for a picnic

Some of the artefacts found at the bottom of the lock during its refurbishment.
They include: clay pipes, a ginger beer bottle, oyster shells, farmyard machinery parts and lots of willow pattern plates

As we are very caring walkers, the landowners had nothing to fear!

A type of dog rose gall known as Robin's Pincushion.
This growth is caused by the larvae of the gall wasp Diplolepis rosae, which lives in the centre of the gall.

Ringlet butterflies mating

The Toat Monument doing an impression of Glastonbury Tor

 St Mary's Church Fittleworth, where Gill managed to set off the alarm!

The footpath sent us through a field of rape. It was hard work pushing our way through it.


A bat seen catching insects long before dusk at Stopham Church