THE GREENSAND RIDGE WALK – Haynes to Sandy (Haynes to Northill section)

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Having left the Greensand Ridge’s very own resident peacock behind at Haynes I was soon out in the fields again.  Quite quickly the sound of the busy A66 was heard and I carefully crossed it at the strangely named Deadman’s Cross.  I took the permissive path through Warden Great and Warden Little Woods (the little wood felt the longer) and felt joy as the sunlight filtered through the broadleaf trees’ leaves.

 

Piles of rubble were strewn along the side of one of the paths – and yet…………. “Nature” came up with her beauty again.

It is very easy to forget that this is a ridge walk – nothing like the Wessex Ridgeway, for instance, which I walked last year.  There have only been some sections where the climbing has been taxing.  And yet – at several points along the way the views have been quite far-ranging.  The sight of Cardington airship hangers was on the horizon today.

The Greensand Ridge Walk leads on to pass over the old Warden railway tunnel – now managed as a wildlife site and then continues for several miles across wheat fields.

This section of the walk started to become a little “samey” and it was good to see the interesting old building at Highlands Farm.

Today’s walk was a reminder to me, as always, of the passing of time………………..look! – how long before the conker season (where on earth has this year gone?  I have tried to walk regularly, despite the covid virus, but “time” has played tricks on me this year!)

Field, followed field, followed wood – most broadleaved and in the height of their summer glory.

Just outside Home Wood was a sign directing me slightly off-route to a medieval fish farm.  It has been a great benefit of doing this walk in fairly short sections that I have had no problem in diverting off the beaten track if something takes my interest.  No fish pie and rabbit stew for me today – rather a stop on another of the Greensand Ridge’s benches for home grown cucumber, lettuce and peanut butter sandwiches.

The information board was very helpful but it was quite difficult to pick out the actual features after so many centuries.  This is all I could see of one of the outside ponds.

Thank you for the benches!

This is a poor picture, I know, because it was taken at a distance – but look at those tiny , delicate, ballet dancer legs – I just couldn’t resist the shot.

Before long the tower of the 14th Century, St Mary’s Church in Northill appeared.  A good place for a rest on this section of the walk.

The Haynes to Sandy section of the Greensand Ridge Walk is 7.5 miles.  This section between Haynes and Northill about 5 of them.  Although early on the continuous hedgeless wheat fields got a bit boring, this walk is rewarding in the later sections.  Again, like a lot of the ridge, it is fairly flat and the terrain is good.

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