The first of this year’s Nature walks took place on October 6th – which happened to be a very wet and rainy morning! This did not deter our band of hardy ramblers who turned up regardless ready to stride off over Ferndown Common.

Eleven members in total came along – plus one lively but much loved dog. We were able to see at close hand the devastation caused by the terrible fire earlier in the year which spread over more than eleven acres of common ground. I am told this could take a decade to fully recover but there are some signs of green shoots beginning to re-appear already. Our route took us down to Pompey’s Lane then off onto the newly constructed footpaths through Hampreston Woods , out across Stapehill Road and round into Keepers Lane before heading back to the common.

As for the wildlife – this was not particularly evident – but we did see various fungi and the odd bird flying around. However, a good time was had by all – despite the fact that the walk did not, on this occasion, end at a café!

Next month, on November 3rd, we will be going to Badbury Rings where the walk will be a little shorter – approximately 2.8 miles. We will avoid the steep slopes by sticking to the more gentle routes- perhaps one or two gentle inclines which will allow us to appreciate the fabulous views of this area. Pamphill Dairy is very nearby for coffee at the finish. Details of meeting point and time will be emailed to all as usual.

Clare Clayton