Scrapbook ~ Wildlife walks throughout the year
Saturday November 17th 2012
Scout Troop Hike #9. Lewes - Southease - Beddingham Hill - Glynde - Mount Caburn
We all met at a misty,
slightly drizzly Crawley Station and it seemed that I was the only one amongst
us who didn't think it was going to rain all day. Two changes on the train
later and we made it to our start point of Lewes town without incident or delay.
It had also stopped raining. We set off from Lewes Station at 10am and our first
place of interest was the local tip! That was good but next to it we found the
River Ouse which was far better, so we followed that a couple of miles
downstream as the tide made its way in.
On the river and along the flood plains on both banks we saw Grey Heron,
Yellowhammer, Mute Swan,
White-fronted Geese, Kestrel and Redshank. We went past the village of
Rodmell, a great place for birdwatching and the place where the famous writer
Virginia Woolf used to
live. Then we continued down to Southease, where she sadly walked into the river
with her pockets full of stones.
A small detour to the church at
Southease, a 10th Century stunner with a circular tower, provided
an excellent place for exploration and a midday snack and also a tap for the
replenishment of our water bottles. From there it was back to the river, over
the newly-restored swing bridge, over the railway line and up steeply onto the
South Downs. Onto Itford Hill with all of its fungi and cattle and all the way
up to the OS point at Beddingham Hill (190m) where the sweaty Scout section were
all happy to see the path suddenly fall headlong-down all the way to the A27 and
the village of Glynde. One the way over we had seen Buzzard, Jackdaw, Magpie,
Skylark, Rook, Carrion Crow, Dunnock, Robin, Redwing and the remains of a
Goldfinch (a possible fox snack). We'd also seen a White-tailed Bumblebee,
Teasel, Yellow Fieldcap and Candlesnuff Fungus.
After making our way through Glynde village we soon had the last section of the
hike looming before us; the dreaded climb up onto
Mount Caburn. Some
amongst us (none of the scouts) were up against 'the wall' on this ascent but
the sudden descent, which coincided with the dropping of the sun, revived
everyone and the sparkling lights of Lewes urged them on too. Along the cliff by
the golf clubhouse we had 2 bats hunting around our heads as darkness finally
fell. Arriving back at busy Lewes at 5pm we found that there was a train home
leaving in 20 minutes. Time enough to finish off our tea and break out the
emergency chocolate bars! Although the weather forecast had been truly dismal,
we found as usual that it didn't matter whatsoever. We had about 3 drops of rain
land on us all day, we all remained very warm and we had great views at all
As well as doing 11 flat miles we also did about 1 mile of up and down. The
Scouts all managed this hike with considerable ease and had masses of energy
left over at the end, which shows that they are improving vastly in stamina.
They also showed that their training in taking bearings is starting to take
effect too, despite one of the Scouts owning a compass that now points south
instead of north for some reason!
Beddingham Hill OS point
Climbing Mount Caburn
Take the time to read
countryside code for yourself and please stick to it at all times.