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* April 19 Regional Ramble – Pondhead Bluebells in the New Forest, Lyndhurst

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Disabled Ramblers -Southern Regional Rambles – Pondhead Bluebells, New Forest – 26th April 2019.

Pondhead Inclosure is one of our favourite places, it is now a charity called Pondhead Conservation Trust and is run entirely by volunteers (as is DR of course) with the aim of restoring the hazel coppice, woodland, understorey and track network in order to enhance the public enjoyment of this unique area of New Forest woodland.  The birdsong in the woods was wonderful which shows how well the volunteer’s hard work is succeeding and each year they open up a little more of the woodland so that the bluebells can flourish. They do hedge laying, hurdle making, rustic furniture such as chairs, benches etc., pea and bean sticks, charcoal burning which is of the highest quality and some is used by artists for their sketching and large supplies are in great demand from local businesses for barbecues.

We parked in central Lyndhurst in order to be able to be near all facilities and it’s only a short trip from there to Bolton’s Bench and then onto Pondhead.  The bluebell wood is not huge but is very lovely with the flowers and birdsong all around. From there we went on a woodland path to Beechen Lane, a wide track which leads through beech woods, as you will see from the photos it is very green and lush at present with the canopy of new leaves,  to our lunch stop by a really picturesque New Forest meandering stream where it is so peaceful, under huge Alder trees. There was wood sorrel out on the banks, a lovely delicate little woodland flower. Then on up to cross the Beaulieu Road and back to Lyndhurst along the chalky, sandy, rutted Ridge with sweeping views all across the forest.  

The ramble was a good test for one of our member’s new scooter, a Mayan AC with lithium batteries called “Swampy”.   After some teething troubles he is now more than delighted with it. We’ll break him in gently!!! A week of DR nationals would be an eyeopener!  Well done, Paul, and Sheila – who coped really well on her new bike bought specially so she can accompany Paul on the rambles. Sadly, we had brought chocolate treats but completely forgot to offer them round so are now forced to eat the lot ourselves, the sacrifices one has to make are endless!

A lovely day for us with our DR friends.

Val and Bob.