- Date: 11 March 2023
- Walk Leader: Lynne Burge
- Distance: 10 Miles
- Start: 10:00 am Hedge Corner GR: SU688 303
On a day that was forecast to be grey and cloudy, six of us met in the potholed lay-by at Hedge Corner, alongside the A32. Thankfully the route took us back up towards Petersfield, through some delightful trees and out into a field as the sun began to shyly emerge from behind the clouds. It spent the time of our walk showing itself before disappearing again so that the weather was better than expected.
Skirting around Becksteddle Farm the path took us over a minor road and then through two grass covered fields. What an amazing time of year it is to be out. Everywhere is beginning to think of emerging from winter hibernation, there are signs of growth on the trees, hedgerows and verges. The inevitable kites were flying around searching for their prey, joined at times by a buzzard.
Passing by a large collection of farm buildings, probably used to house chickens, but they seemed empty as far as we could ascertain, we made our way up to Windmill Farm Cottages. One would assume that in the past there was a windmill in the area, but there are no signs of one today.
Noticing the wild garlic peeping up in the woodland there were discussions about making wild garlic pesto and/or garlic cheese scones. Maybe on a subsequent walk we might be able to sample these culinary delights? The path ploughed its way across two large fields with sheep grazing contentedly. The stile out of the first field was not for the faint hearted. It was a double one, both having barbed wire close to them with some of the barbs taken out. Thankfully we all managed to negotiate both with no torn trousers and made our way down to Slade Farm.
This is a delightful old farm, out in the wilds of the countryside where cake may be purchased if one wished. It made us wonder who would drive along the very bumpy road, miles from the nearest village to complete their purchase. We did not give into temptation but slogged our way up the hill to view at the top two very large, fairly new built houses, constructed of wood in a very angular fashion. They did not blend gently into the landscape.
Speeding up now with the promise of a coffee stop soon we picked our way down a stony track to emerge at Colemore, a small hamlet. Refreshment having been accomplished along with a look in at the church we continued on our way across large fields edged with feeding bins for the pheasants raised in the vicinity.
Another stony path led us up to Shotters Farm where we encountered some difficulty. Since this walk had been tried out the farmer had ploughed his fields with no sign of the paths. The first field we could walk around the edge but the second left us no option but to walk across claggy damp soil to get to the woodland. We did spot a hare bounding its way across a nearby field which was an exciting sight.
The subsequent woodlands led us to the top of a steep drop at the bottom of which would have been a railway until Beeching axed it years ago. To safely cross we had to detour around until we could descend to the track bed and then walk along the other side.
Crossing the A32 the path took us between Pelham Place and Rotherfield Park. As we ascended the hill a helter skelter was just visible at Pelham, put there many years ago for the owners’ amusement.
By now lunch was being looked forward to and with the promise of logs to sit on not far along the path everyone strode on. Disappointment. The logs had been cleared away since our last visit so the bank had to suffice. No one complained, they were too pleased to have a break and eat their lunch.
Taking time to view Rotherfield Park it was noticed that the house is indeed a folly. The main part of the building is what you might expect from the Lord of the Manor but an extension at the rear looks more like a castle with embattlements. Its origins go back to medieval times. As we made our way back to the A32 it was interesting to see a bridge across a deep dip in the field over which vehicles need to drive to get to the house.
Entering the village of East Tisted, we noted the enclosure for stray animals and further up the village pump next to the village pond. But the feature that stands out in the village is the old railway station. This has been converted into a house that still shouts out that it was the ticket hall and station, in the back garden is a railway carriage, well worth seeing.
Following the path we came upon the bed of the disused railway, not an official route but one that has been accepted over many years as it wends its way back to Hedge Corner running parallel to the A32.
Reaching the cars after a good 10 miles we were all thankful to take off our boots to head home for a well deserved cup of tea (or coffee).
Author: Lynne Burge
Photography: Lynne Burge & David Roberts