Monday, March 26

Secret Corner - Sunday's further exploration

Back to the special spot I'd reserved for when the ground had dried out a little. Picking up from where I'd been interrupted last time

As expected the boggy bit was still, well errr for want of a better word boggy.

Very boggy. Very very boggy. My fault really, I should have waited another month or so, but just fancied a bit of solitary wandering to enjoy the sunshine.

I employed my patented New Forest bog 'n stream method. Hopping from grassy tussock to firm(ish) looking ground. Unfortunately this ground was very boggy (did I mention that?) and even my usual hop, skip & jump method was starting to fail me this time. At one point I had to revert to the nearby two strand wire fence, using its support to support my flailing progress through the worst of the mire.

Finally, lower trouser legs suitably caked in mud, I made firmer ground and came across evidence of rudimentary tracks. Nothing special. But the occasional footprint. So this section was not as infrequently used as I hoped. Making for the nearest high ground I came across this man made hole let into the bank of the hill.

Just after this snap was taken a couple appeared around the edge of the trees and stopped to chat. They let me into some local knowledge (it always pays to chat with people away from the touristy areas, they tend to be local and usually well informed)

The hill I'd made for was in fact the focal point for a number of well worn tracks from a car park about 1.5 miles away. Bugger I thought I had all this to myself. But a check from the top of the promontory backed this one up. At this time of year, with the gorse and heather still low, and the remains of water run off plainly evident, its easy enough to trace the tracks across the heathland if high enough.

The couple advised that the track that I'd just come along was impassable. Well that one made me smile. Lucky that I didn't know this titbit beforehand, otherwise I would never had made it. Shucks I do three impossible things before breakfast some days. And then even get out of bed on a good day.

So finally we puzzled together over hole in the ground, in a typically English manner. Current theory - it was part of the World War II searchlight emplacements surrounding Ringwood. Whatever the case this had stood the test of time and was still water tight and dry. A nice spot for a summer time sleep-out methinks ( and whisper it gently, possibly even a small 'real' fire nicely out of sight?)

At least I know where the local clean water supply is, having recently walked through it. Quite.

So I headed back in the general direction of my start point eventually joining up with more familiar tracks.

Another circular section added to my local knowledge. Some further area to explore, probably during the coming Easter period when the tourists stick mostly to the well publicised routes (and I definitely don't!)

And another 2-3 miles on my increasingly lengthy circular route around the village of Burley. It must be up to 15 miles now, and mostly away from the maddening crowds already starting to descend on this area after the winter's solitude.

Summer starts early in these parts. And finishes late. Meanwhile the wise make their own way, with very little effort except curiosity and a map.


Had a look at this hole in the ground on Wednesday, but I went the easy way from the car park.
Returned back to the road and went down the East side of the stream and after some bog hopping got to Kingston Great Common. Returned back via Burnt Axon, Coffins Holms and Castle Hill, avoiding the main paths. Only about 6 miles, but I'm taking it easy having done something to my knee whilst camping on Dartmoor a couple of weeks ago.

Glad to offer you something intriguing to go and look for.

Tried the stream/Kingston Gt Common before - I like the 'islands' which always seem to offer a nice bivvy spot. But over the last few years i think others have spotted the same idea judging by the increase in litter.

Sounds like we need a meetup sometime and compare notes on where else to go in this neck of the forest?
I should be around over Easter, so if you want to suggest a time and place, I should be able to make it for a chat about the great outdoors.

Did a good circuit on Sun, starting at Moyles Court, Avon Valley path to Ringwood, Castleman trail to SU167036 where it ends, fp to SU170029, road to Vales Moor and then back via Picket Post and Linford and an ice cream van at the end. About 11 miles.

Jon - Holmsley Tea Rooms Sat for cake n coffee?
Saturday is fine, what time? Will you be wearing the hat?

Say 11-11.30 ish? And yes the hat is the identifier. Although the two collies might be a bit of a give away.

If u get problems drop me an e-mail, but I'm 99% sure to be there anyway
Ok, see you there Saturday.

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