Saturday, 29 June 2013

Brooks, Downs and Poppies

Me in the Poppies
Poppy view

Before getting to our walk starting point we spotted a Poppy field on the top of the Downs. Paula being an artist, was so excited that we had to go and investigate lol. (I can see a Poppy painting coming soon)  We found the location at South Heighton, East Sussex.  This occurrence doesn't happen every year so we have to make the most of the opportunity, and luckily the sun was shining too.

Top of the Downs
Now on to our main walk.

Swans on the river Ouse
Our walk today took us through the Ouse Valley. With beautiful views on all sides and a lovely riverside pathway.  This view looks across at Mount Caburn where there is usually a lot of hang gliders and paragliding taking place.
View across to Piddinghoe Village

Paula on the riverbank
    After we left the riverbank we crossed the Lewes Brooks, which are a flat open area with grassy fields divided with brooks, or streams, running through them.  When we were kids we came here with our fishing nets and scoured the brooks for wildlife, usually newts, frogs and the like. We used to lay on our tummies and stretch the net as far as we could to see what we could find. We were equiped with a bucket and jam jar so we could have a good look at what we found.

Lewes Brooks
Of course we had to find a cow.

The river Ouse with the tide coming in, I had never seen so many swans in one place, 15 in all.  After walking about one and a half miles next to the river we turned off and came upon the tiny village of Rodmell.
I knew Rodmell quite well as I went to school there.

Rodmell Primary School and Deans Blacksmiths

This is my old school, only when I went there it had outside toilets and was only half the size. It used to be just 2 classrooms and a small kitchen. Lovely little school,  we were even given a guided tour to see how it has changed over the last 45 years. Adjacent to the playground is the church, you can see the gateway in the picture. The blacksmiths has been there for generations, handed down from grandfather to father to son. We often see their van when we visit Hickstead horse events, where they would be servicing the horses.

Rodmell Church

Southease Church

After a scout around the church we carried on our walk. Piddinghoe, Rodmell and Southease are situated in an area that used to be called Millionaires Valley. There used to be a lot of wealthy people living in this area. There are still some really large houses there.  Coming back to Southease we approached the end of our walk for the day.
These are some of the lovely houses in Rodmell.

This is the painting that came about from our walk.

Chalkland Red

Photographs by Paula Oakley

Southease Brooks Walk
Paula's Blog

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Bluebell Woods

My sister and I go for a longish walk every week, weather permitting and we thought it would be nice to record our trips. Our first recorded walk takes us along the Sussex Border Path. We parked the car at the Sloop Pub at Freshfield, ready for our return.  We knew the Bluebells would be out but not to the extent that we saw that day.  On entering a wood we were welcomed by a carpet of blue all through the trees.  
In Bluebell Heaven

Paula, being an artist was in her element, taking photographs everywhere lol. I dont think even one single bluebell escaped her camera that day.  

Moving on through the wood, passing a huge pond we found ourselves on a tiny lane. We took the next footpath sign into a field and headed back towards the car. We came upon a bridge which we crossed over a railway line. This is part of the Bluebell Railway, a steam train running from Sheffield Park to East Grinstead.  We decided to walk alongside the track a little way,  deviating from our path, and sat down to our Marmite sandwiches.   To our surprise along came the train with all its passengers. Of course Paula went mad taking all the pictures she could, while I was waving to the passengers.  A typical scene from the Railway Children lol.  The film was also made on location at Sheffield Park station using the old steam trains.

Bluebell Way

This walk was 3 and a half miles and it was a lovely sunny day and not too hot.
Needless to say Paula was busy painting the next day and these two paintings are the result.

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