Friday, March 24, 2023

Thursday 23rd March Clophill, 4 miles, 17 ramblers, led by Sheila and Mike


Report on a circular walk starting at The Green, Clophill. Thursday, 23rd March 2023. (Two hours & 20minutes.)
Leaders Sheila and Mike Briggs.
On a sunny but blustery morning, seventeen walkers set out at 10am from The Green in Clophill. We had welcomed some guests from Toddington Striders. The route initially took us along Clophill High Street with it's interesting assortment of house styles, turning left up Mill Lane to the junction with Kiln Lane. Forking right here, we passed the Village Hall and the Recreation Ground.

 Meeting at Clophill to start the walk

We crossed the top of Little Lane and took the footpath past a newly built house. Passing a small private wood we noticed that children had obviously been having fun den building, decorating trees and having a campfire. This path then lead us past an orchard and across a lane, up an incline along a field edge to Clophill Ecolodges. The lodges are available to hire and use only 'eco' friendly products. They are run by a charitable trust and have their own waste composting systems. The Briggs' family hired the cabins during a restricted period in October 2020, for a fun Halloween outdoor get together.

Footpath past a well-pruned orchard


Clophill eco lodges

Opposite the Ecolodges, we visited the remains of Old St Mary's church high above the village with beautiful views of the surrounding countryside. Information boards give comprehensive descriptions of the church and the geology of the area. Hilary remembered that some of the walkers had been up the church tower in the past on an 'open' day, including Angela who sadly died so recently.

Crossing through the graveyard, the walk continued along a section of the Greensand Ridge. This was a wet, muddy section leading to a grassy open space with a small bench. We decided to have a 'coffee stop' here. We were entertained by red kites gliding and swooping overhead.

Coffee break - and signing Tony's get well card


The foot-bridge: we have to return to this after our loop

The walk continued through a grassy field to a small footbridge over a stream. We turned right to make a short loop on a permissive path through Pedley Wood, part of the larger Chicksands Wood. Clumps of primroses beside the path were a welcome sign of early Spring. Retracing our steps to the footbridge we continued along the field to the road.
 (although someone was heard to say that there were more in his back garden!!!)

After a short walk on the road we followed a path along the hedge line of an arable field, turning left and walking to a footpath through a gap in the hedge. Continuing over a couple of grassy fields, past stables and down some steps we arrived in The Slade, Clophill. Passing the houses and gardens we turned right into Back Street. Sadly, we didn't stop at the popular Clophill pub, the Stone Jug, as it's very small and lunch reservations have to be made well in advance. We walked back to The Green having made the most of a lovely Spring morning.
Track of walk, walked in anti-clockwise direction


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