Midhurst Footpath Companions
Walking in Sussex, Hampshire and Surrey.

Stansted Park Day Walk 23rd October 2019

After gathering together on a chilly morning the first building on the walk we passed was Middle Lodge built in 1840 as one of the entrances to Stansted Park, a 1,800 acre estate, now owned and managed by the charitable trust “Stansted Park Foundation”. Continuing in the forest in an area known as Batty’s Park our leader got confused on the many paths and took a bit of a diversion, but it didn’t detract from admiring the autumn colours and from keeping an eye out for the many deer frequently seen and heard nearby. A coffee break was taken in the grounds of Christ Church Forestside, built by the owner of Stansted House in 1852 to serve its estate workers. Further on the walk was again diverted, this time by woodland management which currently is concentrated around the control and managing of trees affected by Ash Dieback also known as Chalara, caused by a fungus Hymenoscyphus fraxineus. This disease is a substantial threat to the UK’s forests and trees growing in parks and gardens. Lunch was taken in the Castle Inn at Rowlands Castle before the walk continued along the Avenue looking towards Stansted House. We passed a memorial marking the spot where a 23 year old Canadian air man who died when his Typhoon crashed here in 1944. The Avenue is also part of the Monarchs Way footpath which starts in Worcester and runs for 625 miles to Brighton. However, not wanting to go to Brighton that day, the group diverted and went back to the car park having covered six and quarter miles in total.