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Bolderwood to Cadman’s Pool
Great trepidation today – very wet according to the forecast – and sure enough it started off really bad, but by the time people started arriving to sign on it had stopped and it held off all day, much to our astonishment. Bolderwood is a lovely area planted very carefully with many varieties of trees and is close to the Rhinefield Arboretum so is quite a large area which is very popular for its scenic beauty. This was a much more open ramble and it was with great relief that we realised it may, after all, be quite a decent, if grey, day. It was nice to have the company of Adam Vasey who is a National Park Access Ranger, he is new to the area having come from Exmoor and wants to get to know the NF and all its secrets.
We had been able to reccy a new route which meant that we didn’t have to go on the road at all, only for crossing, and is across quite remote parts of the forest so we got to see the New Forest heathland which would have been missed going on the road, as we have done in the past. Our route takes us through an underpass and to our shock one end was gated off and padlocked, but luckily we come armed with a key to the New Forest gates, so we were OK and got through. It was locked because there was a pony Drift on today and they didn’t want the ponies escaping through the underpass. On to our coffee break, where unfortunately, Paula was feeling unwell and had to return to base escorted by Bob who had to unlock the gated underpass! He soon caught us up before we reached the end of the long path through Slufters Inclosure. We saw cows, ponies and donkeys in the Inclosure today which is quite unusual but very nice to see.
By now it was very windy and we reached Cadmans Pool and took shelter under some lovely beech and oak trees to have our lunch. Cadmans Pool was dug in 1960 by Arthur Cadman deputy surveyor of the NF at that time, to perfect the ambience of the area and is home to many waterfowl. Carp fishing is allowed on a day permit too and there is a large variety of woodland birds, finches, firecrests, woodlarks and the lesser spotted woodpecker.
We then returned via the Bolderwood Deer Sanctuary and did see some deer, both stags and hinds, and going through Bolderwood is a treat, and like Wilverley the day before, it is planted with many species of trees and is very lovely. This was the end of the week’s four rambles, now we have to start planning for 2019! Lots of red holly berries along the way and the huge tree trunk and root in the photos is quite a landmark now.
Lastly, we would like to thank Bernard & Judy for their dedication in towing the MSU and unloading and getting the trampers organised, putting up the loo tent and all the other things they do – would be difficult without them. Also, the walkers and volunteers who help out with road crossings (although we didn’t have many on these rambles) and gate opening etc, and pushing us out of mud, John BMX who always comes on the rambles and helps out whenever possible, he is a stalwart member of DR and one of the founder members. A lovely year of rambles, I think you will agree, so if you have any you can put forward – please do, either for regional ones or for the national programme – without rambles the group can’t work!