Friday, 6 April 2018

Easter walks

A morning with the Bentley Wood Mudlarks...

A misty Friday morning saw my Son, Wife, Motherinlaw and I join a group of like minded individuals for a foray into the Chesham countryside.

We started at Ashley Green.  My Wife and her Mum stayed at the pub as they still had the remains of a cold.

We were early and watched red kite as we waited for the others.

The mist cleared and luckily there was no rain until we had finished.

Quite a lot of celandine & bluebells.
We were a bit early though for a display

Although there was little sunshine, the air remained clear.

It was a bit muddy.

Well, very muddy.

But a good time was had by all.

Rounded off by a lunch at the Golden Eagle, Ashley green, watching the rain.

The steamed steak pie was highly recommended.

The wood we went through -
several trees had information labels,
telling of the species and stuff.

The curry, not so much.

Guess which one I went for?

The 'group of like minded...' were all ex-colleagues of my Wife's Mum, all teachers. My son being a brand new teacher gained some 'cunning plans and clever tricks' to deal with future unruly pupils!

Well, one good walk deserves another!

Monday found my Son and I heading over to Colne Valley Regional Park to walk their Old Shires Lane 6 1/2 mile loop.

We started at Maple Cross and immediately got lost, making our way through a farm instead of the footpath. A nice lady helped us out.

Famous Cack-Horned Goat

We boldly strode onwards and immediately to the wrong path again. I blame the kestrel for distracting us. This was not a good start!

Old Shires Lane we found out dates back to the 11th century.

Dog's mercury - don't eat this

The weather had improved since Friday and we enjoyed the route.

You can eat these, but best not to try.

Although it was still a little wet underfoot
Bluebell woods, still too early

Ee, I woulda killed for a stick this shape when I were a lad..

It rained so much over the weekend the horses shrunk

Finding various interesting wild plants, including some ransoms, juxtaposed by a jauntily placed fridge and old bits of wood.

Ramsons - you can eat this
lords n ladies -
you definitely shouldn't eat this

I've never tried eating a badger...

We even found an amazing traditionally decorated (down to the ceiling full of Toby jugs and steins) country pub for lunch: The Dumb Bell.

Picture from their website
We chose from the extensive menu and enjoyed one of four cask ales.

It seemed a shame to leave.

Expecially as the path turned into a bit of a stream.

The blocked bridge over the M25 more a downer though, ...

...although the advice from a passing local had us make use of an amusing 'shortcut' around a traveller site and across some fields (future site of HS2 type defacery)... an underpass.

By now we were a little behind schedule so we decided to lop off the bottom bit of the published walk, turning left at a new quarry road, but we'd had enough to be impressed.

We visited the old village of West Hyde on the way back to the car, with its closed pub and its old church.

Closed pub: 'The Jolly Gardeners'

Really must go back to the Dum Bell...

Data courtesy of OS.
Blue-what was intended
Red-yer actual stagger

Enjoy it while you can - Heathrow are due to expand all over the lower third of the park (and most of the ancient village of Harmondsworth (mentioned in the doomsday book)), nibbling away a little more  precious greenbelt, disrupting three or four rivers, destroying ancient woodland and upsetting a whole lot of wild life. What's left of the park will be carved up by HS2!

you CAN eat these...

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