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Sussex Scrapbook ~ Wildlife walks throughout the year
Green Man
Eastbourne - Birling Gap - Seven Sisters - Exceat
11 miles

This was 1st Crawley's third troop hike and the coldest so far. When we got up it was minus 6o and it didn't get far above freezing all day. That didn't appear to bother the small group of Scouts though as they were climbing some of the steepest hills they've had to do so far.  The exertion and hot soup and tea kept them all warm and toasty and once again they didn't even seem tired at the end. Maybe I'll have to make the walks even longer!
Along the way we were able to teach them about; navigation, the Countryside Code, the geology of the cliffs, the history of the area, coastal erosion and the wildlife - all of which they found fascinating.
Looking after a troop even this small along high cliffs takes a lot of concentration so there wasn't much scope for bird watching, although we did have a quick glimpse of a Peregrine. I must have answered about 3,000 of their questions during the day, so it's safe to assume they were alert and very interested.
No injuries and not a single blister means that they are starting to get used to hiking and they're even starting to get their heads around navigation, which is quite an accomplishment for a group with an average age of 11. Hopefully next time the whole troop will be able to make it, which will make the adventure even better.
During the hike we had a small ceremony to perform on top of Beachy Head - my investiture as a Scout Leader! So now my commitment to the Scout movement is official - a very happy and memorable moment for me and for the boys.

A quick bit of rock-pooling on Eastbourne beach but the tide was coming in fast.

A well-deserved cuppa after climbing the very steep slope up to Beachy Head

Coming downhill from Belle Toute and lunch is on everyone's mind.

Lunch at Birling Gap and a welcome brew up.

I swear I saw Superman!

The weather was cold and clear but thankfully not windy.
The wind can really howl across here so we can consider ourselves lucky we weren't frozen to death.

One more hill to go guys!

At Cliff End and all looking as fresh as when they started: they never stopped chatting the whole way - what enviable energy!

The Scout's next walk will be next month on 'Operation HQ', where they and all the other Crawley troops have to visit each others HQs by foot and compete in Scout skills along the way.


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