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THE THIRD DAY 29th APRIL

Newnham - Beech Hill
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WALKING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF GILBERT WHITE Selborne to Oxford

THE THIRD DAY 29th APRIL

NEWNHAM GREEN TO BEECH HILL via Stratfield Saye

Two photos below and you might like to spot the difference!

infrontofchurchUpNately

blackcloudbehindStratfieldSayehouse
 

The first was taken yesterday in front of the lovely church at Up Nately. The second today at 2 pm. Do you see the Kagools and the rainwear? Note the big black cloud behind Stratfield Saye house! I had foolishly taken mine off for this photo, but soon had it on again. Today was a real April day, and Newnham Green was inundated when we set off, with all my efficient lists sodden in about a minute. But even this could not dampen (sic) the spirits of our intrepid walkers, and we made good time to Beech Hill and wonderful chips supplied gratis by Jim at The Elm Tree – definitely worth a trip for lunch if you don’t know it. We lunched at the church at Stratfield Saye, and admired the monuments dating from before the Wellesleys time, particularly that of a Dame Edith Pitt described as pious, chaste and fecund!

We survived the crossing of the A 33 thanks to the gentlemanly behaviour of a driver of an articulated lorry rushing to Basingstoke. We managed to navigate a maze of footpaths and minor roads some of which were being used as racetracks by BMW car salesmen. We visited Rotherwick Church briefly and enjoyed walking beside the Lodden River, and trying not to annoy the fishermen. We distracted the dogs from the deer in the field at Turgis Green. We had John Eyre with us, who spotted red kites and other birds along the way, but most excitingly Gilbert White’s Chiff Chaff – the bird he classified as a separate species, along with the Willow Warbler and Wood Warbler, and which he named. It was chiffing and chaffing in the trees at Stratfield Saye, with a most distinctive call.

Finally a photo taken when the black cloud behind Stratfield Saye house caught up with us. Rather more Captain Oates than Gilbert White, I can’t help feeling.RathermoreCaptainOatesthanGilbertWhite

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