Midhurst Footpath Companions
Walking in Sussex, Hampshire and Surrey.

Petworth Day Walk 4th December 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.