Over thirty of us met at the new Bramshot Farm Country Park on Saturday prior to this month’s Countryside Trust’s September walk.
This park is a new facility so although we know it is still a work in progress we were interested to see what £5.4m buys these days. It was a pleasant start to the walk as we meandered through the Hare’s Leap loop, the Old Oak way and Yaffle Meadows before hearing the increased noise from the M3 on the lane that used to be a main route for me to Farnborough before J4A was built.
Leaving the motorway behind we branched off into the woodland to find the old running track, Thompsons Field, slowly being reclaimed by nature but the cinder track and terracing are still visible. We skirted the edge of Hawley Lake before climbing the ridge which took us to the army “Bear Pit” where we came up with a long list of films and tv shows filmed there.
We continued on across the old airstrip, discussing four different possible reasons for its creation and usage, before stopping on the ridge west of Starve Acre with a commanding view, for refreshments.
We passed over the heathland to the Minley Road before stopping to examine a huge fungus that even had our local expert delving into the book he always carries.
We climbed up over the fields, now open up close to the Fleet Bends, wondering if the far off hills were Greywell or Basingstoke or even Salisbury Plain.
Now we know there is no such things as fairies, pixies or elves, – or are there? We stopped by a line of ancient beech trees. One of these is a huge tree with enormous limbs defying gravity and with deep fissures. In amongst the roots and natural cavities this tree has been decorated with lots of painted stones and small wooden carvings with sparkling tinsel type lettering plus small dolls and rings. A curious grotto.
We followed the line of these impressive trees before emerging from the woodland and crossing the army constructed Chimeara Bridge. Apparently a chimeara is a mythical beast with fire breathing dragon’s head and a scorpion like tail but we passed over it safely.
After that it was back past Mallards Copse, which now has more pheasants than mallards, and over the motorway and onto Bramshot meadow before returning to the car park.
I hope all enjoyed it and I managed to show everyone something new and interesting.
Walk Leader Paul