Linford and Castle Hill
Tuesday, September 13th, 2011
Young Forest animals, fungi and ancient history at Linford and Castle Hill, Burley.
Our regular jaunt around Linford in the morning.
There’s a brand new calf around Linford, a bit shy at the moment.
That’s better, what a dinkum!
Linford Brook is looking a lot more full than in recent months.
Looking out over Linford Bottom from the path beside Little Linford Inclosure.
A Fly Agaric – no fairies though.
There are other youngsters around. The local White Park cattle, an ancient breed, have twins with them at the moment. Their black points and gorgeous eyes make these little ones so pretty.
There are the twins and their mum. A little boy and a little girl on the right. She’s a feisty little thing, time to move on.
Deep in the leaf litter in Pinnick Wood nestles a little Pearl Studded Puffball.
One of the handsomest foals at Linford this year.
Heading back to the car park and Harry waits, hoping for one more swim.
Vereley to Castle Hill
I park at Vereley Hill car park to walk around the base of Castle Hill, an ancient Iron Age hillfort, then up onto the hill and back across to Vereley.
Castle Hill and Cranesmoor below it from the top of Vereley Hill.
My path drops away quickly and snakes across the undulating heathland to Cranesmoor. The Burley to Ringwood road is hidden, but passes through the first stand of trees.
The instensely blue sky is reflected in the dew pond on Little Castle Common at the bottom of Vereley Hill.
Erosion on the path shows the layers of sand below the heathland heather and peat, from a time when this was an inland sea – 40 odd million years ago I believe!
I’ve been skirting Burley Hill on the path that leads over to the Dur Hill Inclosure over Cranesmoor. Time to turn left and head up onto the hill now, looking up at Coffins Holms.
On the high ground now, looking across Cranesmoor to the coast and the Purbeck Hills.
The open woodland of Coffins Holms. It’s an intriguing name, holms is the New Forest word for holly, but why Coffins?
On the track heading back to Castle Hill which lies at the north western edge of Burley Hill.
The banks of Castle Hill iron age hillfort – the remains of the ramparts.
The hillfort of Castle Hill commands views across Cranes Moor and Strodgemoor Bottom towards the coast and north, here, across Vales Moor and the Smugglers Road.
Zooming in a bit, that’s our return path across Little Castle Common rising up onto Vereley Hill.
After a quick descent off the hill, we reach the old car park below Castle Hill. Closed some years back, it’s all but invisible now.
A look back at Castle Hill. Before the closure of the car park, this side of the hill was criss-crossed with eroded paths of hundreds of walkers. They too have all but disappeared now – the paths, not the walkers, who now find other parking places and use the established tracks up onto the hill.
Walking across Little Castle Common, three Forest ponies take a drink from the dew pond.
A last view across the heather to the Smugglers Road.
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