Monday, 17 October 2016

Forthcoming walk events that I'm leading

Watch this space for further walk dates.

You may also wish to check out this website for lists of all walking festivals - chronologically and alphabetically - if you're keen to get out for a walk and not necessarily with me!

BBC video and audio links for walks featuring me

BBC TV Countryfile on Sunday 30th October, 2016 featured me playing the visual presence of farmer Alfred Price, who farmed Birches Farm near Kington in Herefordshire and who kept diaries of his activities there from the 1920s through to his death in 1995.

Birches Farm was managed traditionally and was recently acquired by Herefordshire Wildlife Trust, who continue this management in partnership with a grazier. HWT officers were approached by Countryfile because of the wildlife/biodiversity/traditional farming link. I volunteer with HWT, which is how the opportunity to appear as Alfred arose.

Filming took place on Friday 15th October, and I enjoyed being part of it; the presenter of the Birches sections is Anita Rani. Another crew were filming on the other side of the county, at Much Marcle.

BBC Radio 4 Ramblings Black Hill/Olchon Valley walk with Clare Balding 10.5.11, broadcast 28.5.11. Listen again here.
BBC Midlands Today River Lugg walk in May 2010. View the broadcast here.
BBC Midlands Today Cat's Back (Black Hill) walk in October 2007. View the broadcast here.

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Sunday October 18th 2015: Cotswolds near Hunters' Hall

This was Walk Club 15, meeting at Hunters' Hall between Dursley and Tetbury. We had a great walk through typical Cotswold scenery; limestone again but a different type and a different landscape to the previous post.

A dry valley, probably cut by a meltwater stream flowing across frozen bedrock at the end of the Devensian ice-age; the stream would have disappeared as the frozen ground melted and the rock regained its permeability.

Newington Bagpath church, now undergoing some restoration; I can remember finding it abandoned 40 years ago, on a visit with my parents on a family holiday in Gloucestershire.

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Saturday October 3rd 2015: Chiltern Hills near Fingest

An opportunity seized to meet up with the Lawrences, who drove west from Kent while we drove east from Hereford. Walking up to and through the beech woods brought to mind Richard Mabey's writing about the community-managed wood that he owned in these hills.

Rolling chalk hills with pasture and beech woods near Fingest

Beech leaves 

The pachyderm-like trunks of the beech trees. 

Beech nuts or "mast". I remember "Beech-nut" branded chewing gum from the 1960s.

A chalky flint that has worked its way to the surface from the underlying bedrock.

Monday, 24 August 2015

Monday August 24th 2015: revisiting Eric Ravillious' views at Capel y Ffin

My sister kindly picked out two postcards for me at an exhibition at Dulwich Picture Gallery: Wet Afternoon and The Duke of Hereford's Knob.

The artist stayed at Capel y Ffin in the spring of 1938 and was visited there by John Piper. It was delightful for me to leave the crowds behind in Hay, drive over the Gospel Pass and line up the two photographs below.

Saturday, 8 August 2015

Saturday August 8th 2015: Llanbedr Hill above Painscastle

Looking south across the Roundabout on the Begwns towards the Black Mountains in the distance. A lovely day.

Friday, 19 June 2015

Friday June 19th 2015: Of Wet and of Wildness; Odie Robey's Olchon Valley

This was a great walk though I say so myself, much enjoyed by a lively and enthusiastic group with a range of associations with the area and with Odie Robey herself. Thanks to Anita for the great photo. We explored the lanes beneath Odie Robey's former home near Black Darren and imagined the life she described in the Olchon Valley in the harsh winter of 1947. We also visited Llanveynoe church where members of families referred to in Of Wet and of Wildness are buried.

Saturday, 13 June 2015

Saturday June 13th 2015: Hereford Edgelands walk

A bit like walking through a sauna! Start coincided with the Paint Runner fundraiser for the Hospice, so it was lively at the Victoria Bridge. Arthur Lee took pictures of us setting off and we had a wet but enjoyable walk up to Dinedor via the Greenway Bridge and back via Bullinghope and the Victoria Bridge.