16th July 2019
We are very lucky that in our local area there are many potential country walks. Almost every map square has at least one previously unexplored footpath or bridlepath with public access.
Today the dice took us to Pamber Heath, 2 squares to the north-east.
In the outlined square the entire south-west half (Aldermaston Park) is Ministry of Defence property, part of the Atomic Warfare Establishment, and we would not have been welcomed. No horse-riding, no walking, no photography to the south-west side of the road. So that’s half the square ruled out before we start.
And so I decided on the bridleway from Court Farm to the east. Once again, it would be easier to park at the destination, so we started at the car park about 1 Km to the east. We have frequently walked from this area before, but never using today’s route.
The heath is well managed by local volunteers, as indicated by this sign just outside the car park.
We would take the route indicated by the blue dotted line west from the “YOU ARE HERE” point.
I was a little bemused by the next sign.
I used to live on Bucklebury Common. It is several miles to the north of this point. However, I respect the request, if not the navigation abilities, of the BBOWT.
The next part of our walk reminded me of my younger years, back in the late 1960s, when my dad would drive to a local woodland in Dorset and, while the parents collected firewood and various berries, my sister and I would play “Hide and seek” by tunnelling under the ferns.
Nowadays, somehow this makes me think more of the “Jurassic Park” films. We continued the walk and encountered a chap enjoying much the same exploratory experience with a camera, but alas without a dog.
Continuing along the path between wild meadows with the merest glimpse of the AWE spotlight towers we came to Court Farm. When I win millions on the lottery, the owners of this place will receive an offer that they can neither refuse nor understand. This is the Memsahib’s dream home.
And so back to the car park by a slightly diverse route to look at the state of the pond.
I have often seen this pond, even in summer, overflowing the boards at the bottom of the photograph. I suspect that much of the local wildlife is suffering from the long dry period this summer.