- From Griggs Green: 2 March 2022
- Walk Leader: Val Wood
- Distance: 4-5 Miles
- Start: Griggs Green GR: SU824 319 (Please do not park in the Deer’s Hut CP)
How the weather can interfere with the best laid plans. Having recce’d the planned 9-mile Griggs Green circular on two occasions, I found it ideal as a winter walk. Given that muddy and churned up paths and tracks can be hard-going at this time of year, the sandy soil in the Weavers Down locality along with terrain that drains well, is about the best underfoot composition we can get, short of sticking to gravel/metalled roads which most of us find rather unsatisfactory; not really “proper” rambling, plus the nuisance of vehicles. So… I planned the walk with confidence. However, the weather gods had other ideas.
This morning dawned grey, with sullen clouds and the promise of more heavy rain throughout the day. Having viewed the pessimistic forecast I revised the walk; making it much shorter, about 4-5 miles with the proviso that when we met at the start (that’s if any Ramblers at all decided to give it a go), we would abandon the walk altogether if necessary. Happily, there were two intrepid members awaiting and the three of us agreed that the conditions overhead didn’t look too threatening so off we set.
This is a lovely area of north Hampshire, often not far from the Surrey and West Sussex County borders which meander across the OS map; and the Weavers Down and Chapel Common locality are criss-crossed with a plethora of footpaths and bridleways. On higher ground the views are splendid, especially in winter when visibility through leafless trees is good. Sadly, not much chance today of enjoying the landscape, draped as it was in mist and the odd squall of rain rolling in. In addition, many of the well-drained paths were now sodden and waterlogged, as we picked our way through a string of puddles, boggy passages, and some paths that had turned into streams.
I was reminded of an old country adage often quoted to me as a child “February fill dyke be it black (rain) or white (snow)” – and although we’re now just about in March, it felt more like February. However, we were all wearing suitable clothing so not a wet foot amongst us. Given the violent stormy conditions that occurred about two weeks ago, there was little sign of too much damage to trees, although we did come across one or two that had split and broken spectacularly, plus there was still quite a lot of smaller debris on and adjacent to the paths. Damp and miserable as it was there are signs of spring all around – snowdrops are now almost over, but several patches of wild daffodils ready to bloom and hawthorn leaves are about to burst.
Not a vintage walk on this occasion – but we enjoyed it nevertheless – such days make us appreciate the lovely sunny ones even more. So, let’s hope for some of them in the near future as spring progresses.
The full 9-mile walk will be added to the programme later in the spring.
Author & Photographer: Val Wood – Club Programme Organiser