An evening around Foulford Bottom
Monday, August 30th, 2010
Parking at Hightown Common, just north east of Ringwood, I walked down to Foulford Bottom and then around the valley to Picket Post and back.
One from the morning walk at Ibsley. These two Red Devon cows lie chewing the cud and look for all the world like they’re chatting amiably in the sun.
I start out from the Hightown Common car park and pass this bench, I always find it very poignant….
…it has this little plaque which tells a very sad story…
…but what a happy view for those who knew the little chap to sit and remember.
The path down through Foulford passes through birch and bracken…
…and lots of Bog Myrtle. The scent of it fills the air on this lovely warm evening.
I pass Foulford Farm and approach the brook. Looking back the trees are lit by the evening sun.
The brook through Foulford Bottom.
I leave the brook behind and climb out of the trees into the open valley and look over towards Picket Post.
Looking ahead to the old smugglers road that leads from Christchurch into the Forest and on to various places where their merchandise could be distributed. Harry waits for me.
Above the trees in Foulford Bottom, there is a defined line where the heather and firm sand of the moorland gives way to the tussocks, reeds and cotton grass of the bogland in the Bottom.
The heather is brightest purple in the evening light.
The heather on the edges of the sandy paths here is waist high. Watch out for ticks!
I look back over Hightown Copse and Crow to distant Dorset.
At the outer edge of the walk now, Harry pauses at the top of the short, but very steep slope down from Picket Post.
At the bottom of the hill, trees and shadows.
As I follow the path this old earthwork, an old fence line on the ordnance survey map it seems, stretches down towards the bog.
The path crosses the earthwork.
A short detour down to the stream so that Harry can have a drink – waterlillies beside the bridge.
This crossing of Foulford Brook is called Ziegler Passage – the Zieglers are a local family of note.
Back towards the car park and a last picture of the lowering sun silhouetting the holly trees ahead of me.
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