We started the walk at the path between Bushy Copse and Hollybush Farm at the top of the map. The first thing we encountered was this sign on the gate, explaining the planned activities at Ewhurst Park.
The view ahead was the proposed market garden in its early stages.
The footpath was a good wide metalled vehicle track from the gate as far as point 94. Here was another sign indicating a circular route around the new Market Garden, but I had planned to continuing south.
There was another sign explaining why the original track could not be used.
The “urgent repairs” notice is dated May 2021. Two years later it looks like the bridge needs more attention.
Turning left the track narrowed to a dirt footpath. To our right Boathouse Copse was thick, untended woodland with a lot of hazel growth. A few bluebells were beginning to appear both sides of the path.
At the point where the path forks on the corner of Lloyd’s Copse there is a kissing gate. Kissing seems to have gone out of fashion in favour of quick access around the side of the obstruction.
We took the right fork and soon reached the banks of Ewhurst Pond. On the far side were a couple of large tepees, indicative of “glamping”.
Sparky stopped for a drink and then we continued into an open rough grassy area with Skers wood to our left. There were several pale yellow butterflies flitting about and bizarrely a lone daffodil in the middle of the path. Scattered daffodils were struggling to survive in the brambles to our right, but this one had escaped.
Looking across the lake (it is more than a pond) I could see in the distance the main buildings of the Ewhurst Park estate, among which is the residence of top jockey Nico de Boinville.
At the end of the track we passed into woodland again and came to Lloyd’s Lane which connects Ramsdell village with the main Newbury to Basingstoke road. We retraced our steps.
On the way back I spotted a clump of trees that had been blown down long ago, possibly in the storm of 1987. One was laying flat but had continued to sport upwards into three or four more healthy chestnut trees.
Another had fallen into the crook of another tree and the two have fused together over the years.
These trees look like they have been marked for cutting back, although they do not interfere with the electricity cable that threads its way through the branches of much older trees. The orange paint appears to indicate the cutting point and angle.
Continuing back through the woods I spotted a couple of blue tits and the first Red Admiral butterfly this year, but was not quick enough with the camera to capture them.
A pleasant hour or so’s walk on a fine, sunny day.