Seven walkers set off this morning on the Kings Sutton Loop walk. Green Lane was muddy towards the approach to Lower Walton Grounds but before that a pile of rubble had been dumped across the lane which made it difficult to navigate. We suspected this was to prevent vehicular use and off-road motor bikes. There had been heavy rain the night before so all the fields were particularly sticky with clay like soil which clung to our boots. It was good to see the church steeple rising above the expanse of yellow rape seed as we approached Kings Sutton. After winding our way behind and through the village we returned via College Lane, further muddy fields and a sea of more yellow rape seed to Charlton Road and the pavilion for the usual cake and cuppa. It had been overcast throughout but began to brighten as we completed our walk of 6.3 miles. The only wildlife of note was a mother duck followed by a flotilla of ducklings escaping in her wake.
Six of us set off in glorious sunshine on the longest walk so far and a new route for us. The Portway path down to the newly planted woodland was dry at last. We passed over the parish boundary and cut diagonally up towards Souldern Manor. On Wharf Lane we took the footpath across the fields to the track which runs down to Souldern Grounds, stopping to admire the long viaduct. At the swing bridge we met two walkers having an early lunch. A long boat with a family on holiday passed at the same time so we waited and waved them on their way. We managed to lever the bridge down but had to be sure everyone was safely across before releasing it to swing slowly back up into position. The tow path led through very quiet and still countryside, with only a hovering sparrow hawk to distract us. At Souldern Wharf we crossed the canal again and walked up Wharf Lane until the path off to the left took us down to Lower Aynho Grounds and led us under the motorway. The ford was quite low. Two of us with waterproof boots walked through the running water but the others preferred to make their way round the top of the woodland and joined us on Millers Lane higher up. The wall by Station Road was in the final stages of repair as the workers were pleased to inform us. We were soon back at the pavilion for coffee, cake or a more substantial meal after a seven mile walk through delightful scenery in beautiful sunshine.
Twelve of us set off today in bright sunshine but a cold East wind. Green Lane was very wet and the deep tracks made keeping balance quite difficult. SNC say the lane is closed but have confirmed we can walk down it at our own risk. In the valley we walked through the yard and onto the footbridge over a fast flowing stream and followed the track round to the estate road through to Kings Sutton. Once sheltered from the wind the sun was delightfully warm. We took the field footpath and were soon climbing the ridge but as we passed through the spinney into the next field we realised it had recently been ploughed. There was no sign of the footpath. The only option was to follow the field edge instead. We had a friendly wave from a digger driver who was working on the ditch. We crossed a field that had been harrowed but otherwise followed the field edge all the way to Charlton and came into the village through the lane that meets the road near the bottom of the village. From there we followed the road down the hill and took the footpath through to Rainsborough Camp and on along the ridge back to Green Lane and on to the pavilion for the usual coffee, cake and chat. We covered 5.2 miles in just under two hours.
Hazel presented a cascade of short musical pieces and excerpts from a wide variety of composers, which included Tchaikovsky, Beethoven, Dvorak, Vivaldi, Gounad, Chopin, Sibelius, Strauss and Wagner. An extremely well thought out program giving a great deal of pleasure to the society. The interval brought considerable discussion and was followed by an entertaining second half including many well-loved favourites.