Pang Valley Circuit, 14 June 2017

Bucklebury, Wednesday 14th June.

This part of the Pang Valley has a distinct appeal for a midsummer walk when there could be a heatwave: as the map shows, it is extensively wooded and shady, and fairly flat. (There was a Sunday route from the same start point with a couple of the same stops last June, adding in the edge of Hermitage at one end and a loop past Douai Abbey at the other.*)

This Wednesday walk went clockwise through successive woods skirting Bucklebury itself up to Grimsbury Castle for a morning stop, then through the Eling Estate with its numerous and well-mapped paths, east to the fringes of Frilsham and eventually reaching the Pang at a water meadow just before Stanford Dingley. This meant a longish morning section, perhaps leading to the odd hunger pang. The afternoon saw a brief climb back into woods at Clay Hill, then a short loop south via Beenham with still quite a bit of interest: a field full of tiny foals, and a wolf sanctuary (well separated); wildflower-spangled water meadows and artfully arranged foxgloves and even a token area of bog in these dry conditions at a ford just before the end.

*Which I planned but did not lead, though that is another story.

Article and photos by Helen Abbott.