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Walk report 2024 April 8

Lost near Limpsfield

Six walkers assembled at the Grasshopper in Westerham on April 8 for the first outing of Summer Time.   Doomsters and gloomsters were quoting weather forecasts of rain so waterproofs were donned or packed.  The group headed south, at first following a route pioneered by ex-navigator Pete Gillman back in the mists of time (2013), when the former choir MD Richard Hoyle took part in his one and only choir walk.  

Woodland stretch pioneered by Pete Gillman many years before

The path followed gently rising ground and then worked a way through woodland, passing close to an ancient fort, then striking west to cross the B2026 at Kent Hatch. Then it was north-west to the Carpenters Arms in Limpsfield Chart.  Here the six became seven, thanks to the arrival of John Marshall, who had been late to arrive at the Grasshopper and had struck a direct route of 2.5 miles to catch us up.

Lots of ants spotted close to the path

Nature-lovers were intrigued by a teeming anthill they spotted beside the path. Apart from a few drops of rain, the doomsters had been wrong about the weather, and Banners stripped down to his tee shirt, remarking that it was the first such occasion this year. 

The walkers at Limpsfield Chart, where six became seven

Soon Banners was to become the focus of further attention when his navigational skills were tested on the return leg north-east across the woodland known as High Chart. 

Just short of Lodges Wood he led the group along the edge of farmland and on to a driveway, when a woman came striding out to intercept us.  She told the group that we were on private land and, what’s more, had walked through growing crops.  

Banners showed her the OS route on his phone to try to persuade her otherwise, while others added that we had walked along the edge of the crops rather than through them.  She was unconvinced, pointing out the path that was the far side of a stream, then sent us on our way.

A duly chastened group covered the remaining mile or so to the Grasshopper where we partook of a decent supper before heading home. All agreed that it had been a delightful and rain-free early spring outing and thanked Banners for plotting and leading the walk with his customary aplomb.

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