Thursday, April 26, 2007
A beautiful Sunny Morning
The weather forecast for today was a wet morning ,brightening in the afternoon. Well they got it wrong! This morning was lovely and sunny and the rain is starting now, although it isn't amounting to much! We drove through the forest and eventually arrived at Longslade Bottom . A slade in the forest means a little valley between wooded hills. The gravel track leads down to horseshoe bottom and the photo here shows us looking back as we go up towards Hinchelsea wood. The wood is fairly small and it wasn't long before we were descending again and going towards Hinchelsea bog.their are many lapwings in this area and they were circling overhead. much of the bog is impassable and it is a good area for them to nest in. Their were lots of tadpoles in the bog and also a Horse leech. I had never seen one of these before and we spent some time watching it trap the unsuspecting tadpoles. In places there were so many tadpoles they could hardly move.
200years ago Thomas Gilpin described this area in the following words. " A beautiful valley, about a quarter of a mile in breadth, opened before us, arrayed in vivid green, and winding two or three miles around a wood. On the other side the grounds, wild and unadorned, fall with an easy sweep into it. beyond these a grand woody scene spreads far and wide in the distance... the valley was no other than a vast bog, Longslade Bottom. The nimble deer trips over it in summer without inconvenience, but no other animals of heavier bulk dare trust themselves upon it. "
Little has changed although the drainage has improved and it is easy to cross the bog and walk up the slope to the wood. In the valley it is still too boggy to walk.
Just past the bog there is a disused railway and now you can walk along the track which is shaded by trees, however this morning we stayed out on the green and in the sunshine. We came across a group of ponies and another little foal.so of course we stopped to take some photos.