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Date & start time: 1st and 2nd December 2009.

Location of Start : Top Lodge car park, Westhay Woods, King's Cliff, Rutland, Uk ( SP 980 983 )

Places visited : Staying at Angie & David's and walked in Westhay and Docksight Woods.

Main walk details : 4.2 mls, 265 ft, 3 hrs including late lunch/ early tea.

Highest point : The wildlife and walking new areas.

Walked with : Angie and India (her granddaughter), Ann and the dogs, Bailey, Harry and Bethan.

Weather : Overcast but dry.

Top Lodge Walk, Stamford

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A few days with Angie and chance for a walk in her more rural agricultural part of the world.

A muddy walk after the rain but the forest tracks towards the end of the walk were better, if only that the dogs stayed cleaner !

- - - o o o - - -

It's been a few years since I carried a young one in a child carrier . . .

Oops . . . that's not where the buckle goes !
That's better . . . ready to start.

Angie's granddaughter is wrapped up warmly for the walk.

The signed path crosses the field but we kept to the perimeter due to the thick clay soil which was extremely slippery to walk on.

We were walking round the woodland and fields near Finesnade Abbey.

This was a rather nice house adjacent to the lake near the Abbey Farm. (One of three Red Kites we saw here sits in the tree to the left)

Jacob Sheep gather on the high ground of the next field as we pass along the footpath.

The same group but now with the interesting buildings behind.

The map shows it as Finesnade Abbey, and the path is a short section of a long distance path known as the Jurassic Way.

Angie sets off through another section known as Lynn Wood . . .
. . . turning occasionally to show us items of interest.

The fields prepared over the winter for the next seasonal crop.

There's plenty of water hanging on the surface of the fields here too.

Bright red Spindle berries I'm informed.
The dogs on a lead for a short time so we knew where they were.

This fine brick structure in the woods didn't make sense

until you realised that there used to be a railway track in the cutting just behind it.

The steps of the old bridge made a good place to stop and enjoy an early lunch break.

What's baby talk for " I seem to have dropped my sandwich"

"Stop smiling for the camera and pass me another one of those . . . please "

A large and remarkably dark Bracket Fungus on the tree
A small and slightly unnecessary bracketed sign on a post

I know the Forestry Commission are doing a good job and they are adapting to the modern age by concentrating their efforts on leisure and the environment . . . but do we have to have the jargon of "Mission statements" instead of just plain English ?

More signs, but this time of greater interest.

Late lunch or early tea . . .depending on your point of view.

The Top Lodge forest centre has a (summer) caravan site, a good car park and a really good RSPB shop and cafe.

- - - o o o - - -

Back to Angie's . . . Bethan is first in and grabs the bed !

Bailey looking a little put out.

Don't panic . . . we'll put Bethan out in a minute and you can have it back.


The two evenings we were with Angie we enjoyed eating out,

first with her and David, Bill and Sherran

who are also fellwalking club members.

- - - o o o - -

The second evening we met up with our youngest daughter

for a meal (and to swap Christmas presents).

Sorry no photos that evening . . .

so here's a library shot of her receiving an environmental award

at the House of Commons last month !

Good or what ?



Before we travel north to see our other daughter there's time to catch an extra walk in the woods next to Angie's home.

Lots of wildlife and, at this time of year, lots of toadstools.

This is a pair of Shaggy Ink Caps pushing up through the leaf litter.

A conglomerate of Mycenae - shown as inedible rather than poisonous in my " Junior I Spy Book of Mushrooms ".

Treicholomopsis Platyphylla . . . or on the other hand it may be something else !

Down through Docksight Woods to one of the small West Glen rivers,

a tributary of the larger River Glen that eventually flows away through the town of Spalding.

One of several small lakes that have been formed in the grounds of Mill Farm

- - - o o o - - -

We saw quite a wide variety of fauna and flora today despite it being late Autumn.

There were Red Kites, Jay and other woodland birds, deer, badger sets (wrong time of day to see the badgers) and down by the river, a rather fine heron.

Unfortunately they were all a bit fast for us or too far in the distance to show up with any clarity here . . .

hence the multiple photos of the toadstools and one of a plastic Heron . . . the only things that stood still long enough to be photographed properly.

Nice walks . . . and thanks to Angie and David for their hospitality.

- - - o o o - - -


Technical note: Pictures taken with either Ann's Canon 75 or my Canon G10 digital camera.

Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.

This site best viewed with . . . good set of footwear to cope with the muddy conditions.

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Previous walk - 28th Nov 2009 A pre-Christmas trip to Camberley

A previous time up here - 15th to 21st August 2008 A few days with the family

Next walk - 3rd/4th Dec 2009 A pre-Christmas return via Tickhill