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Sussex Scrapbook ~ Nature walks throughout the year
Green Man
Saturday 29th August 2009
Washington - Chanctonbury Ring - Coombes - Cissbury Ring - Washington
16 miles

We parked up at 11:15 outside Washington Church and walked back down the hill. Using the public footpath that starts at the foot of The Street, we set off towards Chanctonbury Ring via its steep northern slope. At the ring our route met the South Downs Way, which we followed east all the way along, past Steyning Round Hill and on to the tiny hamlet of Botolphs. Just a mile south of there is Coombes, where a Sussex church for the purist sits nestled in Winding Bottom. It's near enough a straight line west to Cissbury Ring from there. On arrival we climbed to the top and planned on taking a break on our previously designated 'Bench of the Month' which has a magnificent view across to Chanctonbury, only to find that it is no longer there (the bench silly, not Chanctonbury Ring). From Cissbury our wanderings zig-zagged northwards to meet the SDW again (or 'The Motorway', as we like to call it) from where Washington and the bike were only a hop, skip and a jump away (although, in actual fact, we walked).
Very little wildlife about today unfortunately: some Swallows, House martins, Kestrels and Buzzards plus a few Linnets and Stonechats, but very little else. It didn't matter too much though as visibility was perfect and the bright sky was full of spectacular clouds, so we had fantastic views all day long. Lots of sheep and cattle about in every field and so you would expect people to have their dogs on leads. Not a bit of it, in fact we actually saw someone's dog sheep-worrying.
We got a bit worried at one point when we tried to get through a gate and a huge stallion barred our way. He just wouldn't budge and there was nothing I could say that would convince him to move. We'd just about given up when another horse came and barged him out of the way for us. Thanks Trigger!

Our starting point: St. Mary's, Washington.

The first stile of the day takes us out of Washington and into sheep fields.

This sign isn't joking as the path up to Chanctonbury Ring really is at this angle!

You can't escape the feeling that you're being watched.

Chanctonbury Ring. A magical place at any time.

St. Botolph's Church


Banded Snail

Coombes church, which today was hosting a wedding.

The garland surrounding the church door, complete with blackberries.

Up on Cissbury Ring looking northeast. There used to be a well positioned bench here, but it seems to have disappeared.

Chanctonbury Ring in the distance, beyond harvested fields.

Looking back to Cissbury, with the moon above it.

A completely gorgeous summers day.