New Year’s Day Walk

My six mile New Year's day walk

My six mile New Year’s Day walk

Just three and a half hours from front door to front door, up through the cemetery and out near the top of Bear Road (peering over the wall of the new burial ground to photograph Hollingbury Hillfort framed by a badly deformed conifer – indicated by the arrow on the map above).

Hollingbury Hill Fort beneath the bent trunk of a conifer

Hollingbury Hill Fort beneath the bent trunk of a conifer

Skirting the Race Hill allotments and alongside the race course to Wilson Avenue where I planned to explore the proposed site of a community orchard at the north end of Whitehawk valley, but was foiled by a cluster of caravans on the very site.  This exploration is shown as the little loop on west of Wilson Avenue.

Caravans but no towing vehicles - is this on purpose to make moving on harder?

Caravans but no towing vehicles – is this on purpose to make moving on harder?

So crossed Wilson Avenue and entered the old landfill site that is Sheepcote valley. Discovered a flock of sheep grazing in the NE corner, and walked over to talk to them. Much more streetwise sheep than many – they just stood and watched me until chose to leave them in peace. More rustic sheep would have panicked and run away.  The Council have taken to using sheep (and volunteer sheep ‘lookerers’) to manage and improve grassland.

Some of the conservation team hard at work maintaining a good sward

Some of the conservation team hard at work maintaining biodiversity in the Downland sward.

South and gently downhill took me to the cliffs above the marina where I was tempted by the Wetherspoons (Lloyds No 1 Bar) until I remembered that my next batch of 50p-off vouchers don’t start until the 2nd. So walked to Lidl’s, which was shut, so no cheap whisky. A gentle saunter home past the Sussex County hospital, the school for the deaf and the private school playing field before crossing Queens Park Road and dropping down Bentham Road to Elm Grove and home.

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