Walking with; Nobody
A trip down South to the place that I will always think of as home, the village of Crowhurst where I was bought up, went to school, where my Mum is buried and my Dad still lives, a place where I will always feel happy. Crowhurst is situated in the heart of 1066 country and the magnificent ancient Yew in the churchyard of St George’s is rumoured to have been mentioned in the chronicles of Norman as part of a gruesome tale of retribution when the Reeve of the village was hung for not revealing the whereabouts of local treasure. The village is also home to Forewood, an RSPB nature reserve and Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). The woods are noted for their sandstone ghylls, the profusion of Bluebells in early Spring and their ancient bell pits used in a primitive form of mining.
Woodland walking is very different from walking in the hills. It has a spooky enclosedness about it, it can be dark and a little eerie, but it still has, in a very different way, a real sense of being in the wild. There are birds in amongst the canopy, mysterious rustlings in the fallen leaves and undergrowth and brambles snatching at you as you negotiate the muddy ditches where the coppicers tractors have passed. I followed the trail from the top entrance of the wood leading down towards the pond where my Mum’s memorial bench is. Wrens hopped in and out of the scrub and a Jay shrieked noisily as I passed. The pond, flanked by Flag Irises seemed much smaller than I remembered and, sadly, there was no wildlife to be seen. Leaving the woods I crossed the fields, the rolling Sussex countryside that defines this part of England and, in fact, so much of the rural landscape of the Home Counties. I made my way through the drizzle to St George’s Church, passing the ruined manor house built by Walter de Scotney in 1250. The original church was built in 1412 and the tower remains in place til today. I sheltered from the rain in the porch before making my way through the village lanes and back towards my family home. This was not an adventure, an expedition or a challenge, more a nostalgic, gentle ramble down memory lane.
I’d been waiting to post this until I had taken the photos off my memory card, but I’ve just checked it and it is utterly empty……tech fail…..so there you go!