Published on February 2nd, 2014 | by Jillian Wightman0
Aynho Long Walk: 20th February 2014
It was still raining when we set off but nevertheless nine of us braved the weather and were wonderfully rewarded half an hour later as the sun came out. We had a truly Spring like morning for the rest of the walk. We set off through the village and down Station Road and Millers Lane. We avoided the ford down at the mill as we could hear it gushing across the track, and headed along the foot path towards the motorway. The ground was slippery with mud and water underfoot but it didn’t cling to the boots. A very large tree had crashed across the path in the recent storms so we had to walk well into the body of the field to get round it. Once under the motorway we were soon back at Station Road and walked past the Great Western and on to the tow path. After a few hundred yards we came across a long boat that had broken away from its mooring at the bow end. It had swung across the canal completely blocking it. Unfortunately it was moored on the far side so there was nothing we could do to restore the bow mooring. There was no canal traffic during our time along the towparh so we couldn’t warn anyone. We left the canal and walked up Wash Lane and were amazed when our Biodiversity man, Les, spotted a skylark. It was singing happily and hovering high above a very soggy field. On the edge of Souldern we turned down Millers Lane and took the footpath down to the small stream, over the bridge and up the hill along the wall. We saw a buzzard and had an excellent viw of a red kite just above us. A man was working on restoring the dry stone wall and those at the back stopped for a chat. Back at the pavilion Sue was waiting with coffee and some delicious cakes that some of the walkers had provided. Our walk was 6.8 miles and hard going at times because of the slippery ground. The coffee and cake was extremely welcome.