Peter and Trevor were our walk leaders for a wander around the Hartings, deep in the Sussex Downs. A somewhat cold morning but no wind or rain. Mist was laying in the valley so no big views were on show, but plenty of signs that spring is just around the corner. There were plenty of attractive houses and gardens to admire and we eventually reached the welcoming 17th century White Hart in South Harting where we all enjoyed a good lunch next to a roaring log fire.
After the Christmas break, walkers needed to stretch their legs and a good number gathered at The Royal Oak for a morning amble. Isabel was again leading the walk, this time through to West Lavington and then along the New Lipchis Way to the Wharf and St Anns Hill. A walk past the church and the Spread Eagle led to South Pond where we stopped for refreshments. After skirting Holmbush we found Pitsham Lane which eventually brought us back to the A286 south of The Royal Oak. In spite of the numbers some excellent food was produced, an excellent reward for the 4.1/2 miles we had covered.
Isabel led this circular walk from the car park in Duncton Common and from there we headed west towards Heath End and Burton Park Road. We started out in the rain but all in good spirits - probably anticipating a splendid lunch. After some further showers we reached the end of our 4.1/2mile walk and headed for the White Horse in Graffham. After a very good lunch we had another amazing raffle organized by Marian and twelve lucky ticket buyers went home with a superb prizes. Thanks also to Mary for organizing this last big lunch of 2019.
Marian, Linda, Maddie and June led the walk through Petworth Park, the work of Capability Brown in the 1750/1760's. It was a frosty morning with low lying mist for much of the day and even with a bright sun, the frost remained in the shaded areas. It was a very pleasant walk with a break in the car park where coffee and snacks could be purchased. Petworth Park is full of the mounds of yellow meadow ants, often mistaken for molehills. The mounds may be up to 150 years old, a metre deep and act as a nursery for aphids collected by the ants and used as a food source. They are especially fond of the larvae of the Chalkhill Blue butterfly as they secrete an especially tasty substance, so the ants take good care of them during the winter. The later views towards the South Downs were enhanced by the mist in the Rother valley. Lunch was excellent in the Horse Guards pub in Tillington and most of the walkers then returned to the Park for a short walk into Petworth Town. Thanks to Marian for photos and Pauline for the map. The walk was about 6 miles in total.
Twelve brave walkers joined Paul on a walk along the River Lavant valley. The forecast was not exactly encouraging but nevertheless we all started out in the rain. Fortunately it stopped halfway through our walk. We started out on The Monarchs Way, diverted onto the West Sussex Literary Trail and then returned via the New Liphis Way (also called The Centurion Trail), this last part being the old Chichester to Midhurst railway track. The actual distance covered was just over 4 miles, despite the number of trails we had used! The last part of the walk we actually had some sunshine, before eventually retiring to the Royal Oak for an excellent lunch.