RICHARD WILLIAMSON: Country walk: Rondle Wood and Fairyland Farm

Here is a walk of three miles (4.8km) between Borden and Rogate, through woods and fields with glorious views of the South Downs stretching from Harting to Hampshire.

There is roadside parking at the T- junction above Borden village at SU827247.

Walking northwest downhill to Borden, you will find the Serpent Trail up to your left into Rondle Wood after a few yards, which then dives into a holly tunnel and chestnut coppice.

Follow this down for 500 yards to crossways, when leave the Serpent Trail and turn instead sharp left uphill on a bridleway. In spring and summer, blackcap warblers sing in these woods.

There are great spotted woodpeckers too, which have now been drumming for almost a month.

Stay straight ahead and cross the main road on to a minor road that goes to Terwick Common.

There are Douglas fir, Scots pine, mountain ash, macrocarpa, acacia, cherry, chestnut, beech, birch, oak and hazel surrounding you. Look out for goldcrests and firecrests in the treetops. Ground flora includes wood sorrel hereabouts, which looks a bit like shamrock.

After 400 yards turn left down byway into a rue of old battered trees along a rocky path that is liable to flood in winter. Badger paths cross this way as you travel south to the A272.

Look for footpath on the other side of that road which takes you along the fence to ‘the church in the fields’. St Peter’s still has its Norman font.

The 1829 male yew tree at the entrance will shed torrents of pollen at the end of February.

Take the drive east for 400 yards then again cross the main road on to the purple arrow of the byway that leads into Cumber’s Lane.

This climbs back north to Ship Copse and then onwards to Fairyland Farm.

The view opens out wonderfully to the South Downs behind you as you climb.

This is a good place for blackberries in season, I have found, and there are bluebells soon to flower in May.

Butchers broom grows on the forest floor, looking like some sort of miniature holly bush.

This plant is an indicator of ancient woodland. So are the archangels which flower here in spring.

Who called this Fairyland Farm? They were right: it is.