“You’ve been plowtering about in the mud” was what Granny Robertson, with her strong East Lothian roots, said when we kids came back in from a muddy afternoon. And she would have said that today.
Plowtering is such a descriptive word. It means to splash aimlessly in mud or water, to wade messily through wet ground. And that really described quite large parts of today’s walk.
Waking up this morning to a little snow we expected it to be wet underfoot. Muddy as we went across Shalford park and over the Wey but looking better as we met the gang (Val, Colin and Claire by the old Law College admin buildings.
Except the buildings are no longer there. Development is in progress for new housing.
Walking up towards Piccard’s Farm the snow showed the old cultivation on the fields.
Quite sticky in the woods but not up in the trees.
Up at the point where the North Downs Way is crossed by a track down to the Manor of Polstead. A new sign post but very muddy all round.
Then back down onto the main Loseley Park estate. Still very muddy crossing this and here we suffered our only slip. Muddy and no fun. On through Orange Grove then up and over Mount Brown, a new track for us, and back to the meeting point from which we walked home.
To find that the snow on the car was thawing fast. A good walk.
Out on Puttenham, Common today with G&H Ramblers. Bright early on but clouding over a bit later. Pub stop at the Squirrel, Hurtmore – not bad considering that there were 20 ++ of us descending on them at once
Started off at the Tarn car park on Puttenham Common. Lovely morning. Reflections on the still water.
Off round the edges of the pond then up a steepish climb to wait at the top for everyone to catch up.
After a few more ups and downs we were on the Common near the Iron Age Hillbury fort. Off into the sun with Jane leading the way to the top car park for a coffee break. Then it was over the road and East down a pleasant valley. When we got to the Puttenham-Shackleford road we walked along it to keep off a low lying, muddy track.
From Shackleford we walked towards the A3 past a farm where there has been development, visible from the main road, going on for some time now. Still not sure just what it is but clearly someone is putting money into the place. The footpath does cross the A3 but, given the number and ages of the group, the leader sensibly chose a detour via the bridge under the A3 near the Squirrel. The walk back avoided a muddy trek to Eashing and back over the A3 bridge. We returned via Norney and rejoined the original track near Peper Harrow where Jane’s great grandmother lived as a child.
On Shackleford Heath we went up a muddy permissive path on the way to Rodsall Manor which looked as attractive as ever.
Unfortunately the path from Rodsall back to Cutt Mill House, running beside a stream, was waterlogged and very muddy right across the track. But it didn’t detract from an excellent walk.