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Sussex Scrapbook ~ Nature walks throughout the year
Green Man
Sunday 27th December 2009
Funtington - Stoughton - Walderton - Funtington
10 miles

As we got the bike out of the garage this morning a rainbow appeared, which we took as both a good omen for the day and as warning of possible foul weather. As usual though, the moment we left Crawley the drizzle stopped and the rest of the day was bathed in sunshine.
From the church at Funtington (5 miles north west of Chichester) we walked back to the main road, turned left and then right into Hares Lane. The start of the footpath was up on the right and went up through woods of beeches and yew. At the second T junction (footpath junction) take the right and you will eventually come to the Kingley Vale Nature Reserve. The reserve encompasses a yew Forest which includes a group of trees that are among the oldest living things in Britain. As well as the woods there are some great views to be had up there. Looking south west you can see right across Thorney and Hayling Islands all the way to the Isle of Wight.
Lovely clear skies today, which allowed us superb views of the Buzzards and Kestrels that came very close overhead on several occasions. Much of this area is of course agricultural, but many acres have been given over to pig farms.

Gill shows off her new jacket. Not exactly camouflage, but
a bit more feminine than the last one.
She was also testing out  a Gelert handwarmer (xmas prezzzie) which got her (warm) thumbs up .

We parked close to this beautiful cottage in Funtington, which seemed very apt.

Funtington Church, which was closed today.

Butcher's Broom
(Ruscus aculeatus) is a very strange plant as the flowers seem to form in the centre of its dark green, spine-tipped leaves. These stiff leaves are in fact specialised, flattened-out stems called cladodes. This very hardy plant usually flowers in the early spring. Therefore -
Happy Spring Everybody!

The view south west towards Thorney and the Isle of Wight.

The Monarch's Way is a 615 mile long-distance footpath that is based on the escape route of Charles II after the battle of Worcester in 1651.

Stoughton Church, which was open and had some great hassocks as well as a copy of the Last Supper.

Racton Monument