I love this walk very much. I spoke to a few walkers on the way and the area is much loved by many people.
I made a few notes for an update on my way around.
After passing the church, at the first field, the farmer has ploughed it so either walk straight through the mud or follow the edge to the left to reach the gate onto the lane (Point 2 on the guidance).
I found Fieldfares in the hedgerows straight away. On the lane between 3 and 4 the hedges have been brutally flailed but will still hold plenty of birds in spring. On the whole walk I expected to find rookeries, they're very noisy at this time of year but I found none, to my surprise and disappointment. In Hartley Common there were Green Woodpeckers calling and lots of Pheasant. There were signs of catkins everywhere.
It was unusual to see muntjac deer close-up at several places. As always I was too slow with the camera. I also missed a Little Egret on the river at 9.
At point 11, after the fields of sheep, I stopped on the bridge. The river Loddon here is beautiful and has kingfishers and grey wagtails, plus the alder trees giving food for siskin and redpolls.
On the lane between 14 and 15, I found reed buntings in the hedgerow. Between 15 and 16, parts of the path were very wet. I found a lovely flock of goldcrests. I had to step up a bank at the side to pass what looked like deep puddles. I met a lady with a dog, she had stoically plunged through the puddles in her wellies. A local person, she loves the area and knew the paths well. I mentioned the wet section I expected at between 18 and 19 and she was familiar with it.
When I reached 18, I followed the path before finding the water too deep to cross to the concrete bridge. As on one previous occasion, I turned left along the hedgerow until it met a grass bank heading back into the field. It was wet getting onto it but barely above boot height. At the concrete bridge, I hoped to follow the path but it was a bit too wet so I skirted it through some wet grassy areas but it soon got back to normal grass path.
There was a bit more mud between 23 and 24, this is not helped by Tylney Hall Golf Club appearing to use the footpaths as a drainage channel for their fairways!
My final observation was that the village pond entering Rotherwick has been cleaned up quite a lot so the duck house has a chance of being used in the future!
A fabulous walk on one of those cold, bright winter days that are made for walking in the countryside.
Enjoy the images.
Loddon at Hartley Common
Crossing the Lyde River Maize - winter food for the birds
The footbridge at The Lyde River
On the right is the Loddon stretch, good for kingfisher and picnic in summer!
Dog owners will need to know sheep and horses will be found.
Wonderful to find catkins bringing first colour of spring.