RICHARD WILLIAMSON Country Walk...Grevatts and Blinkards Copse, Up Marden

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Park near Up Marden church at SU795142.

Walk straight ahead for 200 yards and take yellow FP arrow left up through narrow opening into field (currently growing barley), church tower over to left, hedge on right (ash trees, hawthorn, brambles, nettles, some elder, etc).

At end of hedge, kink right, keeping round edge of field and through gap in hedge and continue left down wider track and hedge now on left. Hazel nuts ripening. At corner bear right keeping on same track round edge of field, wood edge on left. Large golden barley field on right dipping down then up in smooth wave curve. Some privet in hedge; where fir cones on ground look up and see tall Douglas firs.

At corner where electricity pole and pylon bear right continuing down slope; now mixed hedge, lower and with grass strip behind making good habitat. Where yellow FP sign at bottom (where a roebuck barked at me) continue straight on, now up the golden barley wave slope, where go under electricity cables take yellow FP arrow left (stile and narrow gap) into wood (beech, ash). After a few yards meet main track where turn left and downhill, brambles abound along track side – should be white admirals and fritillaries but none seen on my visit, many ringlets instead. Note two ornamental viburnum shrubs on right.

At bottom wide open grassy glade where marbled white, ringlet, and meadow brown butterflies abound. Tree trunk seat here with view out down valley – but look out for horseflies!

Continue past yellow FP arrow up slope, seeing nipple-wort and a single clump of nettle-leaved bell-flower; ash trees – some hazel cleared back to let in light.

Pass another yellow FP arrow. At junction, where wood pile, turn left (no sign here) and past wood pile and up slight slope between meadows either side behind hedges. At T-junction track bear left and under electricity wire and keep up slope, thin hedges and meadows beyond either side, to double metal gate where high but solid stile on to country road.

Turn right down road, noting small crater on left and short stretch of wide ditch on right, then banks either side. At bottom where house and garden, turn left on yellow FP arrow and down track (house/garden on left), opens up briefly where horse paddocks either side and then on up slope, passing galvanised barn/shed on left and then picturesque flint farm/barn dwelling complex, where turn left on yellow FP arrow north onto narrow path through wheat field to woodland opposite where white marker post and yellow FP arrow clearly seen.

Enter wood, shady and pleasant mixed woodland: bear left north west and clamber over fallen branch across track as actual path blocked with brambles at this point, and go round to where it rejoins original path.

Turn left and continue up slope, passing large crater on left. Stile (high but solid) and yellow FP arrow straight across hay meadow, where meadow browns, skippers and hedge brown butterflies.

Through gap in fence and past barn and edge of private garden and out onto road, turning right. After 40 yards on road, gap in hedge on left.

This takes you over a barley field back to the church and the old wooden car made out of ash trees.