RICHARD WILLIAMSON: Country walk: Angmering Park

The woods on this walk are possible havens for both long-eared and little owls.

Of course, tawny owls also live here, but they are quite common throughout the county.

To reach and leave the car park is from the A27, but only from the east-flowing dual carriageway, about two miles east of Arundel.

A minor road leaves the main road and runs north to TQ061065.

Even the car park will have spring flowers soon, as the woods are filled with wood anemones, bluebells, and some wild orchids

such as early purple, spotted, and fly in the drier, northern forests.

The Angmering estate welcomes visitors with its terracotta signs, but dogs have to be controlled as much of the estate is wildlife-friendly.

The name seems to derive from a Saxon landowner called Angenmaer.

Bridleway runs north-west then north from car park into charming countryside with old trees, barns, tall hedges, paddocks, livestock, and sheltered farms which together make just the right kind of habitat for the little owl.

It likes human activity around so long as that is friendly.

The track now enters Wepham Woods and passes magnificent beeches where woodpeckers share the habitat with a full range of titmice, nuthatches and hopefully the long-eared owl.

The blue arrows take us on north past a water pumping station, a cottage, and on into beech and larch plantations.

This is a place to hear blackcap warblers in a few weeks’ time.

The track winds uphill to a glade in the forest and a tarmac road.

This is Monarch’s Way. This runs down to Warningcamp to the left, but I turned right, passing a cottage on right and 400 yards past that, I turned right. Not before I had scanned all through the Scots pines for any sign of a pair of long-eared owls huddled together.

You never know your luck in this game – 400 yards past the cottage, I turned right on yellow arrow.

Berberis was planted here years ago as pheasant cover, which with box became a strange understory in many an English woodland, much of it still present today.

This footpath takes you south, straight through the stud farm.

Another ‘foreign’ bird sometimes seen here is the parakeet, which nests in the hollow trees.

At the end of the wood called The Beeches, go straight over the footpath crossway, down to Hammerpot Copse, and turn right, southwest, along the old shaw, or medieval safeway over treacherous ground, back to the car.

If you are lucky or just plain eccentric, that could

be a lovely Morris Minor. Mine, which I called Snowdrop, went to that great garage in the skies years ago, though I still have a set of new engine valves if anybody wants them.