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*October 2019 Regional Ramble – Rhinefield Circular

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Regional Ramble – Rhinefield Circular – Disabled Ramblers & New Forest Walking Festival – Tuesday 22nd October 2019.

Lovely day today, we were out early into the beautiful misty Forest before our DR members arrived to check the path as, due to surprise roadworks, we had to change the start point and needed a memory refresh, this in spite of a reccy 2 or 3 days before the ramble!  Again, we had 11 scooterists plus 2 cyclists, and 7 walkers. This was a completely different ramble to Day 1 and is a very “watery” one, ie it passes Ober Water, Bolderford Bridge and on the way home Fletchers Water, so it’s forest streams and meanders (the name for the forest streams) all the way.  There is plenty of water in the Forest at the moment and the route is very varied and goes through woodland tracks, open plains and forest tracks plus a little road work here and there, quiet roads luckily. We also welcomed a member of public, Anne and her husband, Ted, and friend, Sandra. Anne was a DR member some years ago and wanted to come and join us today as part of the New Forest Walking Festival.

We had coffee at Bolderford Bridge looking out over the swollen stream.  We then set off towards lunch stop, sadly Sheila (cyclist) lost her glasses at Bolderford and had to retrace her steps (by bicycle) to look for them, but no luck, unfortunately.  On the way to lunch at Blackwater car park, which was our original starting point, we pass what is called the “dead forest” a group of trees that stand in very boggy, waterlogged ground as a consequence of which they are just eerie-looking tall, leafless and stark tree trunks and branches, bleached white by the elements. This area is also a conservation area where, on our reccy, we saw about 6 red deer last week.  Today we heard the roar of a stag coming from the woods and a sighting of a group of fallow deer.

Lunch at Blackwater car park, all mod cons – ice cream van, loos, bbq site etc.  Then off again on the homeward trek. This is a really nice ramble and is a little different because of the streams etc. all the way.  On the final hill back to Whitefield Moor we had a battery problem from one of our scooters, but just a little push and we got up the hill with no further trouble.  Two very enjoyable days for us, all photos by courtesy of our backmarker and official photographer, Bob McLellan. We were also delighted because our radios worked! Very useful they were too. Many thanks to a super group of people who made these two rambles very enjoyable, friendly and fun.  Val and Bob.