Thursday, February 23, 2023

Thursday 23rd February. Ridgmont station, 6 miles, led by Tony P


Fifteen ramblers appeared at the station at Ridgmont: amazing as it was drizzling when we had to make the decision to leave home or have another cup of coffee.  However, the drizzle stopped by the time we left the car-park and although there was a cold breeze as we started out, we soon warmed up, and out of the wind it was even warm!  

The walkers outside Ridgmont station


We walked across fields (a bit muddy in places after last night’s rain) to the A421 which we crossed via a subway, then turned right to follow the maze of newly created footpaths that criss-cross the landfill site. 


Methane taps and pipes could be seen at regular intervals, supplying an electricity generator. Lidlington Lake was clearly visible to our right. 


Soon we reached a new woodland, Reynold’s wood, with mostly ash trees of about 10 years old. It will be a wonderful nature reserve if they survive the a sh die-back.  A few Great-tits had already moved in. Here we split into two groups: those that wanted to walk along the level, and those that followed the clear but winding path, downhill then back up hill. We reunited at a clearing where some logs and benches were thoughtfully provided for our elevenses. 

Our coffee break
Finally, we retraced our steps into Reynold’s Wood, taking a side path to re-cross the A421 and join a disused railway line that took us past the industrial part of Brogborough. Suddenly there we were, back at the station at 12.50. 
Track of walk, walked in anti-clockwise direction


Sunday, February 19, 2023

Sunday 19th February Go-Easy walk at Aspley Guise led by Penny

6 members started this 3.5 mile walk from the car park next to Aspley Guise & Woburn Sands Golf Club.  We walked along a track past ruined buildings, through fields where we passed a line of joggers to go downhill near the cemetery to reach St Botolph's church. We crossed the road and walked past the footpath sign to continue along the road. Through 2 "windows" in the wall we could see Aspley House.

Aspley House through a window in the wall

We continued past Guise House to reach the village centre with its new dot roundabout. In the vicinity were several interesting old buildings, some of which had had modern extensions added. We crossed the road and walked uphill along a Private Road past some new houses before turning left to pass a school where we turned right though fields. In an adjoining field to the left we saw a muntjac running for its life. Shortly we arrived at Gypsy Lane which we followed for a while. At a bend in the road we stopped for a drink stop with a convenient log to sit on.

Ruth & Hilary sitting with Annie, Tony P & Penny standing

We walked past several derelict pumping houses to arrive at Birchmoor Farm with its amazing brickwork. Afterwards we turned right and crossed Aspley Lane to enter Aspley Wood with Mermaids Pool on our left.. We passed many piles of newly felled logs & then an area where saplings had been planted projected by their plastic sleeves. We left the wood via a kissing gate to cross Woodside & enter a long passageway that led to West Hill almost opposite our starting place.

Track of walk, walked in clockwise direction

Friday, February 17, 2023

Thursday 16th February, Milton Keynes Walk led by Debbie & Nick (mainly Nick!)

 Approx 8 miles with 11 Walkers.

We all met up at Caldecote pub car park where we began our walk at 10am. We followed the Grand Union canal for quite some time stopping in a park area alongside the canal for a coffee & snack stop. I fed the ducks geese & swans with some pellets which were soon hoovered up as we walked  along. 


After leaving the canal we entered the park around Willen Lake where we stopped at The Lakeside pub for lunch. 


On leaving, it had began to drizzle but we were fortunate it came to nothing. 



 After leaving Willen Lake we joined Ouzel park where we followed the River Ouzel virtually all the way back.



Track of walk, walked in clockwise direction

 Thank you Kate for being back marker with the help of Tony Price, & to you all for joining us.

Debbie & Nick

Thursday, February 9, 2023

Thursday 9th February - Clophill walk led by Debbie 3.5 miles with 12 walkers

I was joined on the village Green by a bunch of very punctual cheerful walkers. We walked along the High Street turning left up Mill Lane.  We looped round the lanes re-joining the High Street and turning off up Old Church Road where we passed the Eco Lodges before coming to the old Church ruins where we had our coffee & snack & chat in the sunshine. 

The walkers at the old church

We continued up the lane through a track & rather muddy field joining Great Lane then turned right into Old Kiln Lane, passing a farm before taking a footpath on our left. We crossed a grassy meadow (good place to clean our boots) through a small holding, a Copse before joining The Slade.  This brought us back onto Mill Lane joining the High Street at the bottom.

Track of walk, walked in anti-clockwise direction

Thank you all for your company.  Debbie

Monday, February 6, 2023

Saturday 4th, February Preston, 7 miles, 5 ramblers, led by Lynn

The start of Saturday’s walk was a little delayed as Ruth, Geoff and Tony R got stuck in traffic due to tree that had fallen across the road just half a mile away from Preston! Fortunately, it was cleared very quickly and they met with Lynn and Tony P soon after.  We headed north up School Lane, into Chequers Lane and out to Wain Wood. Walking along the edge of the wood, we stayed on the path leading to Chalton, which gives a nice view at a couple of points, out across to St Ippolyts and beyond. Before reaching Maydencroft Lane, we turned left and walked along the edge of two fields then had a short break for our elevenses (photo).

From there we walked a short stretch along Charlton Road, to a sharp bend where we went back onto a footpath climbing up around Pinnacle Hill and along the edge of the wood at the top, across the field (quite firm underfoot, thankfully) and down the path to Ley Green. When we went through the playing field, where a chap was putting up some brand new, bright white goal nets for the youngsters now Spring is on the way


(photo), then straight across, past The Plough pub, past Parsonage Farm and on to Whitehall Farm. Round the corner, the path had not been reinstated after the field had been ploughed and it’s a large field too, so we walked round the edge as others had obviously done too. It was the same situation at the next field but the verges were wider and a much better option! 


Soon after that we walked past Prestonhills Farm and reached the edge of Preston, coming back up into the village opposite Princess Helena College. Although a grey day, it was a lovely walk rounded off with some tasty food and drink in The Red Lion.

Tony R, Tony P, Ruth, Lynn & Geoff enjoying lunch at the Red Lion

Thanks again for joining me!
See you both soon.


Thursday, February 2, 2023

Thursday 2nd February Three Locks carpark to Rammamere Heath

12 ramblers, 8.5 miles, led by Ruth

The sun and above-zero temperatures brought 12 ramblers out, even through this walk was a bit on the long side. We set out from the large car-park, near Stoke Hammond and walked briskly North along the Grand Union Canal towpath for about a mile before turning off towards Paper Mill Farm.


 The road became a sandy track and many of the ramblers hadn't passed the large fishing pond, nor the manicured garden with a lake before. 





 At the bridleway junction just into Rushmere Country Park, we turned right. 'We don't go this way' someone exclaimed'. 'Yes we do and I'm the leader!' Ruth retorted. 


We paused at Black Pond, and admired the oak-themed seat,  pausing for a photo,  but the weather has eroded some of its best acorns and oak-leaves,









 When we reached the lizard sculpture we stopped  for morning coffee break. 


Next we took a narrow track up to the plateau of Oak Wood. No oaks there, but the commercial pines has been thinned for heath-land restoration. There were good patches of heather that had been carefully cleared of brambles... for now. Heathland is a rare habitat, with the UK having 25% of the world's area, so its restoration is important and trumps non-native dense tree plantations. 

Soon we reached the bridleway that was familiar to the ramblers, and some ramblers wondered how we weren't going to be very early for lunch - but we soon reached a steep but short hill up to the plateau of Rammamere Heath. We looped around and into Bragenham Wood, where the maze of pathways, unmarked on the OS maps, were navigated and finally headed down a sandy wide path to the gas-pipe: 

'Oh we're at Stockgrove someone exclaimed. Yes, and half an hour before expected - only 12.30! our ramblers headed for the warmth of the cafe for various combinations of toasties, chips, burgers and buns, the rest put on the extra layers and had their packed lunch at the picnic tables. The toilets had warm water and a powerful hot air hand drier - luxury!

Finally, we walked through Bakers Wood - more undulations, then through Shire Oak Heath, one of the first heathland restorations of the country park. This led past Lord's Hill, through the meadow to Rushmere Park entrance, then over the humpback bridge to the towpath. The final 1.5 miles flew by and soon we were back to the car, at 2.35pm: not a bad pace!

Track of walk, walked in clockwise direction