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Sussex Scrapbook ~ Nature walks throughout the year
Green Man
Saturday 16th September 2006 
The Wey Canal from Billingshurst to Pulborough.
10 miles

The recent downpours have made a real difference to the local countryside. The grass has greened up again and water is running in most of the streams. To take advantage of this, we took a walk along the Wey South Path. This runs alongside the River Arun and we picked it up from the A272 just outside Billingshurst. The well signposted footpath goes back and forth across the river and the canal via a multitude of bridges, locks and flood gates. The walk we did, of about 10 miles, is incredibly scenic with many stunning views over small ponds and streams. Plenty of great places for a picnic. There were lots of birds around too, we saw Winchats, Yellowhammers, Spotted Flycatchers, a Sparrowhawk, Kestrels, a Buzzard, Willow Warblers, Long-tailed Tits and loads of woodpeckers.
On top of everything else, this walk takes you through an area that has some of the finest houses to be found in the whole of Sussex.  The area is very horsey and in the latter stages of the walk you will find yourself walking through paddocks, race tracks and bridleways. It's all completely stunning and reeks of large Swiss accounts full of cash.

We left Billingshurst at midday and the weather was perfect.

The pathway is mostly very well signposted, but you have to keep your eyes peeled sometimes to find the little signs that point the way. 

You quite soon come to the first piece of restoration along this stretch of the canal, The Lording Lock. We had a bit of a snack here as the local volunteers have kindly left some chairs and tables for passing walkers.

This harvestman spider visited us while we were snacking. These scare most people because of their skinny legs. If you take the time to look, these spiders are fascinating! Their legs seem finer than human hairs and they walk with a really great bouncing action.

At this point, just a short way up the canal is the Lordings Flood gate and bridge. There is a picnic table here too. It was a beautiful spot here today in the sunshine, but we think it would be just as good here in the middle of winter too.

Every corner gives a new view

This is the Haybarn swing bridge. This is the only point where we thought the signing for the footpath broke down. You must walk left, through the farm at this point. Don't turn right like we did. 

You see many types of footpath sign when you are walking in the countryside. Each long distance path has its own sign, but all of the paths that cross your route can be signed in a multitude of ways. This sign seems to be of a new sort that we hadn't seen before.. 

The Wey South footpath goes over so many bridges that we soon lost count of them. 

This was out in the middle of nowhere and it was so quiet and peaceful. 
Owls have good taste in real estate.

There's also a good variety of stiles out there too. This is the classic.

Not seen too often in Sussex, here is the sliding stile.

And one of my favourites, the doggie stile.

6 hours after leaving Billingshurst we found ourselves in Pulborough village sitting in front of a large jug of cider. The walk along this stretch of canal is something we can highly recommend. There are no hills, a train station and a pub at either end, lots to see, and peace and quiet to boot!