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Sussex Scrapbook ~ Nature walks throughout the year
Green Man
Saturday 13th February 2010
Hassocks - Clayton - Pyecombe - Saddlescombe - Wolstonbury Hill - Hassocks
9 miles

We were joined on today's walk by my nephew and his friend, but without the use of one of those horseless carriage thingies we were confined to the places covered by our county's meagre rail network. We opted for a start from Hassocks station and headed south through Butchers Wood to Clayton church in time for some tea. From there we climbed the downs up to the windmills and picked up the South Downs Way which we followed through Pyecombe to Saddlescombe. The route northwards back to our start point took us over Newtimber Hill and Wolstonbury Hill, the latter of which has superb views for miles and which today was being belted by bitingly cold winds.
Although the day was full of fantastic views and beautiful footpaths, there was very little in the way of wildlife to report on. Besides some expected woodland birds, a few flocks of Red-legged Partridges and lots of corvids and woodpigeons, we only saw a couple of Buzzards. The only drawback with this walk is its proximity to some very busy roads. The A23, which the route crosses twice by bridge, is the main London to Brighton highway and it makes a lot of noise that is audible for a considerable distance.
The miles of sticky mud that we encountered made the going quite hard, giving our guests a pretty strenuous walk. Mind you, they were still laughing and joking at the end of it, which we'll take as a sign of a successful outing.

Straight from the station we were into Butchers Wood. It was almost silent though, except for a few Wrens and Great Tits.

Clayton church. The walls of the nave are covered in medieval paintings.

Our next objective - directly towards the sun (while it was out) up to Jack and Jill.


The Hassocks to the South Downs Way Link

Across the downs to tiny Saddlescombe and back via Newtimber Hill and Wolstonbury Hill.

The incline down Wolstonbury is incredibly steep.

We had to take things very gingerly going down, as our boots were already thick with mud; It was only a matter of time before one of us slipped.
Unfortunately only Sarah was unlucky enough to do it on film.

Back to the station for 4pm and a Harvey's at The Hassocks pub.