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Sussex Scrapbook ~ Nature walks throughout the year
Green Man
Saturday 20th February 2010
Mount Caburn
6.5 miles

We'd thought about doing the Beachy Head walk this weekend, but due to the state of the roads we opted for a short mooch around Mount Caburn from Lewes instead. The minor roads were very icy and our bike's back wheel slipped sideways before we'd even gone a 100 yards. Fear of imminent disaster forced us to stick to major roads but we still had to take it very easy; the police and ambulance crews seemed to be having a busy enough day already, without us adding to their workload.
We took the incredibly steep Chapel Lane up to the golf club and out onto the rolling downland. This place never fails to impress as it's so picturesque, whatever the weather, which today was bitterly cold with very spectacular clouds superimposed onto a bright blue sky.
This whole area is grazed by sheep, but we still saw people without their dogs on leads. Just as Gill was suggesting to a woman that her two dogs should really be on leads, one of them set off for a major bit of sheep worrying while the owner just watched on helplessly. Looking out for livestock is one of the prime directives of the Countryside Code and is very simple to understand. But hey, what do we know eh! Mind you, we did see many other dog owners today who were obviously taking great care to make sure their pets were under control.
We continued across Southerham Nature Reserve and up to the mount where the hang gliders were holding court. We took our normal spot overlooking Glynde to have some tea and keep an eye out for passing birds of prey. A Red Kite's been seen here recently and although we had great views of Kestrels and Buzzards, the latter preferring to keep below the height of the hang gliders, the Kite remained absent.
Heading north across Saxon Down and along the northern edge of the golf course we finally came to a large tumuli, below which is the Malling Down Nature Reserve. We wove our way through this incredibly interesting area that is littered with burial pits, ancient quarries, what look like flint mines, and landslides, finally making our way to the obelisk for sunset.

Part of Southerham Nature Reserve.

The earthworks of the iron-age hill fort at Mount Caburn looking across to Mount Harry.

Firle from Mount Caburn.

Cliffe Hill. The soil on this very steep slope is only just holding on and looks as if it could slip at any moment.

An aerial view of the Malling Down Nature Reserve. (Needless to say, I didn't take this photo)

The place is full of bumps; like the moguls in the Winter Olympics.

The spectacular skies were indicative of the uncertain nature of the weather.

The obelisk back near Chapel lane. Time to head to The Snowdrop for a Harvey's.