Saturday, January 4, 2020

2020 New Year’s Day Walk

On the morning of New Year’s Day 27 people, a mixture of Harlington village residents & members of Toddington Rambling Club & some who are both, assembled in the Harlington Village Hall car park for a walk to remove the excesses of the previous evening. We walked across Bury Orchard to Barton Road, crossed the road and carried on to where BW15 (Burrows Lane) descends to Willow Farm. There was some mud on this lane but it was soon left behind without problems. On reaching the Bottoms Rd we turned right and continued along it, sadly passing much fly tipping, until its junction with Sundon Rd. Here we turned left through a kissing gate and followed the path on the old trackway before climbing the steps to the chalk pits. We exited the pits by more steps and here stopped for our refreshment break, with wonderful views across the valley to Sharpenhoe Clappers. Standing here 2 days before I had witnessed a duck shoot being carried out in the wooded area below, near where Woodfield formally stood, this surprised me as I have never seen such activity here before.
Before we moved off Russell gave us an interesting talk about the shell craters in the chalk pit and their role in the second world war together with the locations of the army camps in the vicinity.
We then carried on walking to the edge of Sundon Hills Country Park car park where we crossed the road near 2 kissing gates before entering a sheep field with glorious views over Harlington. At first the sheep appeared to be missing but as we continued we came across them all huddled together in a large bunch. As we approached they slowly walked off wanting to be away from humans. At the end of the field we turned right to enter a wooded area and followed the track downhill to the bottom of the hills. We then walked parallel to the railway for a short distance and noticed the lack of trains on this day. We continued via the rear of Wood Farm to join Sundon Rd & hence walk up the hill to return to the Village Hall car park. The distance we walked in 2.5 hours was just over 4.5 miles.

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