Sunday, January 23, 2022

Sunday 23rd January Marston Forst Centre walk

This was the second short Sunday walk with 12 members attending this walk of 4.5 miles.

Twelve members braved a very cold morning but as expected we all warmed up very quickly. We started  from the Forest Centre to walk around Stewartby Lake, the paths were a bit muddy in places.
The lake was so calm, a few yachts in the distance. No swans but it was lovely to hear all the birds singing. We did see a group of bird watches with their binoculars.
Penny, Sue and the two Tonys carried on and walked around the perimeter of The Wetlands Nature Reserve, see map below,  whilst the rest of us carried on to the Centre.
Hilary, Sheila and Mike went in to the cafe for a coffee and the rest of us carried on home.

As it was only a short walk the 4 of us mentioned above carried on and completed the full circuit of the park. We walked near the chimney of the incinerator that we passed on another  walk a few weeks ago. Whilst crossing the entrance road we me Nita driving home. The 4 of us then visited the cafe but only Penny & Tony P sampled the fare. We saw Hilary, Sheila & Mike sitting near the window still talking.
Penny bought a map at the desk & ascertained that it was at least £1.75 to access the Wetland Nature Reserve. As we all wanted to get home for lunch we did not bother. Although the ladies were very interested in the forthcoming tribute band concerts advertised.

 

Track of full walk, walked in clockwise direction



Thursday, January 20, 2022

Thursday 20th January - Sharpenhoe walk led by Hilary

This walk started from the lay-by near the allotments in Church Rd. Streatley.
The lay-by quickly became very full with cars bringing 19 walkers for the 4 mile walk
We started off by walking past the allotments and quickly left the track to go thought the woods where we had a view of Barton.
We rejoined the track and followed it all the way round the Clappers before Hilary took the photo below that had to be stitched together.

The walkers with Harlington in the background
We walked to the NT car park where we had a coffee break and some photos by Tony P.

Vivienne, Tony R, Liz, Wendy, Joan, Hilary, Gill, Annie, Allison, Mary & Maureen in front with Jed, Beryl, Malcolm, John T, Pete, Richard & David S at the back. Tony P took the photo

We then retraced our steps to the lay-by to complete a very enjoyable morning walk with thanks to Hilary for stepping in at the last minute to lead the walk as the original walk had to be cancelled.

Track of walk, walked generally in anti-clockwise direction



Thursday, January 13, 2022

Thursday 13th January Walk 1 Bedford Priory Country Park led by Nita

15 members walked approx 3.5 miles, twice round the lake. Once each way and it did look different.
   
  The weather was perfect, blue skies and sunshine.
The new tarmac paths made it very easy walking.

 So many swans and ducks and geese etc.
A very pleasant morning enjoyed by all

Track of the walk

 

 

 



Thursday 13th January Walk 2 Woburn 'elephant' walk, 7.5 miles, 8 ramblers led by Ruth

A high pressure system at this time of year often leads to fog, so we were delighted to wake up to a clear blue, cloudless sky, although it necessitated the scraping of windscreens! We left Woburn car park at 10am, walked through the deer park and crossed to the fairly muddy path through the woods to the entrance to Woburn Safari Park. There we had a quick drink stop by the lions, soaking up the sun.

We walked along the path by the elephant house, spied a group of 3 females to the left - then to our delight, watched the male busy eating his breakfast. It was unappetising looking dry hay, but he was clearly enjoying it, wrapping a chunk deftly in his trunk, shoving much into his large mouth and tearing the excess off.

We tore ourselves away after quite a show, then walked past the wallabies to the Husborne Crawley road. We turned off along a narrow footpath between some estate cottages then through a young woodland to Husborne Crawley church. Half of the party had a snack in the shelter of the lych gate, the others sat on a large tomb slab and admired the greensand stone of the church while soaking up the sun.

Finally we walked through the edge of Aspley Guise, across Horsepool lane and back on the familiar route to Woburn. The wooden pallet crossing the stream was partially submerged and a nervous looking, clean young dog on the other side was waiting to watch us, with her owner, to see how easy the crossing would be.  We were not very impressive: one member fell partly in and two had to be given a hand to get up the steep bank on the far side. The dog and its owner decided to stay on the football field!

We completed the 7.5 miles in 3and a half hours, quite a pace.

Sunday, January 9, 2022

Sunday 9th January, Ampthill, 3 miles led by Nita. 20 Ramblers.

This was an experiment: would anyone want a Sunday walk? Nita thought that even if one or two turned up it would be nice. And yet there were 20  of us at West Ampthill park car park and we had trouble finding a place to park! Clearly there is a pent-up demand for short Sunday walks: or perhaps it was the glorious crisp day with blue sky and sun that brought us all out. 


 We walked around the periphery of the park, passing a little too close to a lovely herd of Hereford cattle for some ramblers' comfort, then through some wooded areas and a short drinks break.

 


We then crossed the road and walked along an avenue of lime trees to a war memorial before strolling through the sandy Cooper's Hill, a SSSI site with stands of heather.



Before returning to the car park Nita asked if this was a worthwhile addition to the programme. The numbers speak for themselves: volunteers are required to lead a regular Sunday outing every fortnight.

 

Track of walk, walked in clockwise direction.

 

Saturday, January 1, 2022

Harlington New Year's Day Walk - 4.5 miles

 

January 1st, Saturday, 2022, New Year’s Walk led by Tony R

A lovely way to start 2022: what could be better than meeting with 19 other like-minded ramblers and the first bit of sun we have seen for two weeks.  It was unseasonably mild, a light breeze and we set off in boots and wellies (we all know about Harlington Clay!) across the field by Harlington village hall, listening to the church chimes singing out ‘Deck the halls with boughs of holly'. We were then treated to a brief but dazzling display in three blue-and-gold Macaws flying free and returning to their confident owners.

Pavements along the  Barton Road, a clear view of Sharpenhoe Clappers to the right … and then a descent down a narrow and VERY muddy bridleway down to Willow Farm. We were assured that it was the muddiest section! This led on  to the Bottoms Road which we walked along for a while before turning off over a plank bridge. After passing a couple of new apple trees we crossed a substantial bridge over the mill stream.

Soon we got to the Harlington Road and Tony explained that there was a footpath that was intended but never made official because the land owner was unknown!  Nevertheless, we crossed the road, squeezed in front of the digger and walked along the unofficial path meeting up with the official footpath, so avoiding an unpleasant stroll along the busy road.

Next we skirted the edge of several fields and mostly didn’t notice the time or distance or scenery because we were all busy catching up on news and enjoying the conversation.  However, we had to admire the rainbow: it must have been raining at Pulloxhill!

We stopped for coffee by a log, then returned via more field edges and Abbot’s Hill above the Bunyan Oak. We were back shortly after 1pm, just as it was starting to rain.  The Macaws had gone!

Track of walk, walked in anti-clockwise direction.