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December so far in the Forces-of-Nature Diaries
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Member#: 6644
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Registered: 27-05-2007
Diary Entries: 1618

4th May 2018
Hiking - Walking:  Petworth Deer Park and Bignor Hill
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Wednesday 2nd May – Fun with the Grandson and walk **** Around Sayers Croft and Ewhurst – Poured until late afternoon!

A bit chilly in the van last night and woke to a wet and windy morning, in fact it tipped it down until about two in the afternoon! We didn’t mind as we spent a lovely morning with Grandson Arlo in Rob and Hannah’s nice new house. Then after dinner when the rain stopped we went for one of our favourite walks down here. A lovely stroll through Sayers Crofts woods full of beautiful bluebells, sadly after the rain it was like a swamp! We had our son Rob with us as he has Wednesdays off at the moment but Hannah was at work. We ended up in Ewhurst walking through the churchyard then to the park for Arlo to have ago on the swings. Back for tea and bath time fun.

Thursday 3rd May – Help in the garden – sunny and warm

Our original plan was to have breakfast with Rob, Hannah and Arlo then set off for the South Downs but Hannah said she was going to do their new garden and we stayed to help. What a great day we had - looking after Arlo, levelling the shed, digging, weaving a willow basket, making a border from old tyres and covering half the garden in wood chips. Maggie and I then took Arlo to the park and had fantastic fun on the swings, slide and round-about, he loved it! After tea we went back to the van knackered at 9.30 for bed!

Friday 4th May – walks ***** Petworth Deer Park and Bignor Hill – sunny and warm :)

Good night in the van, milder now too. Up at 7.30 for breakfast with Rob and Hannah, then look after Arlo while they pack for a trip to Devon. We all leave Sayers Croft just before 9.30 and head to Cranley, the others to see the health visitor for a baby progress check and us to get some fruit from the supermarket. We then head to one of our favourite spots to park up, Bignor Hill on the South Downs Way. As last year – with it being such a lovely day, we stopped at the National Trusts beautiful Petworth Deer Park and for the princely sum of £3 we parked. We had a cuppa and packed a picnic while listening to Radio 2’s pop quiz. Then at eleven set off around the stunning park, one of Capability Browns which is very hilly with groups of beautiful old trees in vibrant Spring green colours and there are large herds of deer everywhere! This time we turn right and head up the hill to the large Folly, a castle style gatehouse we missed out last time. It was then past black sheep with lambs in with yet more deer with Green woodpeckers whizzing about! You could then see the large impressive house in the valley below with a large lake in front. Again, as last year a large marque was being erected for an event. The nice set of garden furniture was out in the private end of the house as we walked to the stunning gardens at the side of the house. It is £13 to visit the house and £69 to join the NT for the year, perhaps we will treat ourselves when I get my pension in October. The gardens were not quite as nice as last year as we had missed some flowers (we visited a week earlier) but still lovely with the bluebells being impressive. We again sat by the large round garden feature for our picnic in the warm sunshine while watching a black cat hunting! We left the garden heading back towards the van passing right through the middle of a huge herd of deer. Then down to another lake to find geese both Canadian and Egyptian with fluffy young. So again, a top 3 hour walk in amazing scenery and weather covering at least 6 miles. Its then a few windy miles to NT’s Bignor Hill carpark reached by a really steep, narrow bumpy road, it was fairly full with loads of walkers heading off but out spot was free, so we parked up for a well-deserved cuppa. We relaxed for a couple of hours reading and dozing, watching the deer cross the farmers field before going on another walk. Heading to the large radio masts past the Dew pond and back to the South Downs Way past fields of sheep with lambs and cows. We wanted to see if the paths were OK to bike tomorrow after all the rain - we fancy a trip to see the bluebell woods near Slindon and they look OK:) Back at the van for a campervan special tinned beef and mash potato. Another small camper joined us for the night while a couple of walkers set off late with their camping gear! The only downside is, it’s Bank Holiday Weekend with sunny/hot weather forecast so it might be best to sit it out up here and avoid the South Coast which will be heaving!!!



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