Pootle to Park Lane - Sunday 7th July 2013

It was hot at the start and every one said it would be a hot day and it WAS a hot day. Nonetheless Phil had picked some excellent byways and paths with plenty of shade, so the bits out in the open were manageable. We started out from the sports centre on the Heath at Royston on the Icknield Way Path towards Therefield then onto Kelshall where we strayed a little on to a private track where a householder tried to attract our attention. Ramblers were sort of mentioned so no damage done and we kept walking and got back on track to Fears Green, Gannock Green, Sandon and then Park Lane with its exclusively stingy stinging nettles. Onwards back to Therefield via some more shaded lanes and byways where upon lunch was declared. Luckily The Fox & Duck public house was conveniently close to entice many of us in to sample the goods, rude not to really. Thirst suitably quenched and sandwiches eaten we did a loop out from Therfield via Washingditch Green, Chapel Green, Kelshall Lane, Chain Walk, Ducks Green, Hay Green where we noted some Bee Orchids growing. Luckily The Fox & Duck sprung into view again, thirst quenched again we set off for the home run on Chain Walk and the Hertfordshire Way towards Thrifts Farm and then right turn along the Gallops then up a mighty steep hill but short to Fox Covert Nature Reserve and then down to the car park where it was agreed that 18 miles had been walked. 

It wouldn't be a BBN report without mention of the ales consumed at the pub. Safety was sought in Greene King IPA 3.6% abv, I tried the Bath Ales Gem 4.1% abv and on the second pass S A Brains seasonal special Le Peloton 4.0% abv both very drinkable on a hot day.
Excellent walk, excellent company, stunning weather.
(Michael Trolove)