There was a bonus on this morning’s five mile walk. (There was no rain, but this wasn’t the bonus.)
The start was Elstead Moat car park. Twenty-three arrived; the leader was relieved there weren’t as many as yesterday. We crossed the road to a footpath that took us to Woolfords Lane, a bridleway, where we turned right and followed the bridleway to Lion’s Mouth. Here we paused to look at the remains of the Atlantic Wall. One in the group knew the area well and gave us a short interesting history lesson about the wall—its origin, the flora that colonised it and the conservation project that won an award.
The wall, being made of concrete, provided a habitat for lime-loving plants. Our speaker had noticed a Rustyback fern growing on it. It needed a partner to reproduce. Later, while on holiday, she had spotted a group of Rustyback ferns on a wall. She carefully removed one and took it home to transplant near the other one on the Atlantic Wall. The fern had thrived in its new home and now there were three; she pointed them out to us.
From the AW we headed up a slope to Kettlebury Ridge (now in sunshine) and walked south along this. With the sun shining there were good views over Hankley Common. We left the common via Houndown and Dye House, crossed the road through Thursley to enter Thursley National Nature Reserve, walked across this to Thursley Common and continued on a bridleway that took us back to the Moat car park.
Maps: OS X 145, 133