Sunday, 15 November 2015

Softly Rolling Hills


Setting off from Baldock railway station and heading towards Wallington, just like George Orwell so many years ago, but following a different route. I head through the town and find the path leading up to the footbridge over the by-pass. Feeling good and enjoying the softly rolling hills of North Hertfordshire.



I crouch to photograph an odd, rather lanky, fungus. Then some tumbledown agricultural buildings. The path becomes a little unclear, heading straight across a field with no trod to follow.



The path drifts by the little church at Clothall, a very special place we visited a while ago. I'm almost tempted..... no, must press on. Crossing the road the weather and scenery changes briefly with black rooks perching in dead trees against a darkening sky. A prehistoric burial mound can just be made out among the grass and weeds. 



Then through an ancient landscape of woods and fields, not exactly preserved for wildlife but rather for the shooting of pheasant and partridge. As far as the other birds and animals are concerned though everything's lovely! A flash of yellow as a Green Woodpecker dashes into the trees and a buzzard circles overhead as I enter Wallington by a back road.



Having poked about the village for a while I take field paths towards Redhill, Roe Green and Standon. I find some still-sweet blackberries in the hedgerow. The Devil is supposed to do something on them which makes them unpalatable at Michaelmas (September 29th). Obviously the old fellow didn't have enough to drink before leaving home.


Two Red Kites twisting in the air above the village of Standon, once they were never seen in this area but now they're common enough in Hertfordshire, though they only seldom venture the few miles across the county boundary to where I live. Their acrobatic flight never fails to lift the heart. 


Although I started this walk with no fixed route in mind I seem to be more or less following part of the Icknield Way long-distance path, which is itself just a modern-day approximation of the old pre-historic trackway.



Into (and out of) Kelshall and on towards Therfield where, one day, I shall go and explore more fully. 



In Therfield there's a neat little red-brick house nestling beside the churchyard that I've never noticed before and then a path I've not walked down either. (And also a pub which always looks so inviting!). 



The last stretch is very familiar to me, across the hills to Royston. In springtime this is a place for mad March hares, but today it echoes to the relentless growl of tractors ploughing. 


Walker's Log:

    Start: Baldock, Hertfordshire 09:25

    End: Royston, Hertfordshire 15.45

    Distance walked: 13.5 miles (21.6 Km)


    Notable birds: Buzzard, Red Kite, Green Woodpecker, Nuthatch,           Yellowhammer, large flocks of Fieldfares, as well as Wood Pigeons and Rooks


    Mammals: Muntjac Deer, Fallow Deer, melanistic Grey Sqirrels,           rabbits.


    Other people out enjoying a walk: 0 (it was a weekday).




Take care.



17 comments:

  1. Beautiful landscapes and buildings! You take some great walks to very nice places.

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  2. Wonderful as usual. Your writing and photographs make me want to visit the places you talk about every time I read about them. One Day......until then, I visit when you visit...which is splendid indeed.

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  3. That's a great hike John. I bet you were very tempted to stay in the pub, especially with the long slog through the mud. The scenery is stunning even for a dark day, and not to be rushed along by anyone is a real bonus!

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  4. Another beautiful walk - and some lovely photos :)

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  5. Everywhere is very squelchy to go walking in at the moment. My trail runners will be much needed when they arrive tomorrow. I love that tall mushroom, can't remember the name of it though.

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  6. Another beautiful walk there. While I read this, I was thinking of this song:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mn2CeHlKrTw

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  7. Great landscape it reminds me my part of countryin the north where my cousin has a big farm

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  8. It's a quaint brick house in Therfield -looks inviting on a cloudy November day. "Trod" - a new word for me. We only use it as a verb here (past tense of tread). A very pleasant walk through the countryside.

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  9. I feel like I've just been on a lovely walk without leaving my desk.

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  10. That's quite a long hike! Beautiful fall day there.

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  11. I would love to be able to take these walks myself. You take such wonderful pictures to show us what you see. I had to look up the Red Kite...it sure is a handsome bird. The way you say it gives your heart a lift to see it...that is how I am about the bald eagle. We don't see them every day, but we see them fairly often now. I had never seen one in real life till we had children and went north to Michigan on vacation. I was probably 30....still had not seen one in Indiana, the state I now live in. Now we see them say maybe once a month somewhere around here...and even see some from our yard! It may go a month or two we don't see one, but then we may see them 2 or 3 times the next month...and boy does it lift our hearts. We say any day we see an eagle is a good day!

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  12. Nice walk through that English counrtyside again!

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  13. I really enjoy "walking" with you. Everything looked so English to me until we got to the tractor, which seemed so familiar - very similar to Canada. .)

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  14. Thirteen miles is a good hike. I enjoyed your photos.

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  15. That is a long walk. your photos are wonderful and show the beauty of the area. The villages and houses are so 'English".

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  16. I really love this English landscape.

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  17. That surely was an enjoyable walk. beautiful countryside. love the horse.

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