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Southern Regional Rambles – Linwood Loop, New Forest, Hampshire – 30th March 2019
Another lovely day dawns for our ramble around the Linwood area of the New Forest. We had 9 booked to come so a good crowd plus we were pleased to welcome Suzi Shilling from the National Park Authority who was coming along to see what we do, how we organise the rambles, and what people get out of getting out into the countryside – as we all know, it makes a world of difference to our mental wellbeing. Some of her findings will appear on YouTube and when it does we will send the link so DR members can have a look. We parked at the iconic High Corner Inn pub down the end of a stoney, bumpy track. It is set in a remote part of the forest, when we arrived it was really quiet with just the birdsong to listen to plus two ponies in the car park having a scratch on the trees and fences. By the time we got back for our meal at 2.30 it was swamped with people all enjoying the lovely sunshine, its remote position in the forest doesn’t put anyone off in the slightest!! We set off through the reasonably gentle tracks passing great tall pine and deciduous trees, a little later in the month this area is a sea of bluebells and is extra beautiful, strangely, the NF only has a few places where bluebells are abundant, probably due to the dense canopy of trees which prevents the bulbs from getting the sunshine etc they need to produce flowers. We stopped for coffee at Splash Bridge, a pretty little place over a stream which is a favourite of ours. Then off up a sandy track to reach a higher path leading us onto the next leg of the ramble. Here, we had a hitch! One of our newest members had great faith in his rather small scooter + all terrain tyres being able to cope with the sandy track (we had already expressed doubts but decided to take his word for it!). Sadly, it just didn’t happen and the little scooter stubbornly refused to go through the sand so consequently, Bob escorted our disappointed member back to the car park as one feels duty bound to make sure anyone attending our rambles is delivered back safely to the destination. We went on slowly, and eventually Bob caught up with us again, but of course the double trip does have an effect on the bigger batteries too and they were quite depleted by this time, however, all was well and Bob did finish the day without any trouble on his trusty Supersport! We had hoped to see deer as we did on the reccy, but not one appeared all day, always happens. The rest of the ramble went without any problems – just a lovely relaxing day through lovely parts of the forest and then back to the pub for a meal arriving there at the allotted time of 2.30pm where we all enjoyed a very nice meal outside in the sunshine. Suzi was able to do some video-ing and interview several of those attending for their comments on how being outside with DR helps them and we were pleased to welcome her along, especially as she made us a batch of “Rocky Road” tray bakes to keep us going. Delicious!! Thank you all for coming, without you all it would be a lonely ramble! Bluebell ramble on the 26th April – just let me know you want to come and directions etc will be sent out about a week before. Don’t forget, if you have a ramble you would like to put on for others to share please let one us know via email@example.com and we can help you to organise it.
Val and Bob.