Foulford Bottom and Dur Hill
Wednesday, September 14th, 2011
Hightown Hill to Picket Post round Foulford Bottom and back in the morning and what remains of Dur Hill Inclosure in the afternoon.
Sulphur Tuft invades an old log.
After walking down from Hightown hill and crossing Foulford brook, I climb up the heath and get this fine view across the heather of Foulford Bottom to Picket Hill and Picket Post.
As I follow the undulating path below the Smugglers Road, this New Forest Pony is trotting towards us, it’s a narrow path and I wonder how to get out of her way, but she decides to head off into the heather instead.
The path climbs steeply and Harry rushes off to see what is at the top.
From the top – the panorama of Picket Hill and Picket Post.
A group of New Forest Ponies as we return to Hightown Hill.
In the afternoon we head over to Dur Hill Inclosure, or rather what remains of it. Much of the inclosure has now been taken down.
As we set out along the path of the old railway line we find some lovely Fly Agarics.
The climb affords a grand view across to Vereley and Smugglers Road.
Most of the Dur Hill Inclosure has now gone and forestry works still go on. This is the last of the line of trees along the top of Dur Hill.
The forestry works leave deep ruts that collect water, Harry thinks that any water is worth a swim.
A lone pony searches for forage at the edge of the trees.
The path skirts round and drops down to the pond at the bottom of Whitefield Hill.
The path stretching away up Whitefield Hill.
This used to be a gate into the inclosure.
Looking back along the path, the fence on the right separates Dur Hill from Bistern Common.
In the coniferous woods alongside the old railway line, there is a carpet of Bovine Boletes – Suillus Bovinus.
This Bovine Bolete reminds of a many petticoated ladies skirt!
A large burrow in the bank among the roots of one of the trees, must be a badger sett I think.
A Blackish Purple Russula – Russula Atropurpurea.
Across the old railway bridge and out of the woods, the view across Cranesmoor. Cranesmoor Bog is apparently the largest in the Forest and over 11,000 years old with peat 20 feet thick in places. Sandy islands in the bog are covered in pine trees.
The steep sides of the old railway line are covered in trees, this one clinging on for dear life.
Looking east across Long Pond, softened by the evening light.
Looking back at the sunset across Long Pond.
A Forest pony takes a drink from the pond.
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