Ramblers enjoy a week of walks

Cathy Ford, pictured with the new Battle 'tumbledown stile'.
Cathy Ford, pictured with the new Battle 'tumbledown stile'.

BATTLE Ramblers took part in Battle’s Big Event with a Week of Local Walks starting at the Abbey Gatehouse each weekday evening last week.

The walks varied from two miles (3km) up to four miles (6.4km), all described in Battle Ramblers Walks About Battle Leaflets which are on sale for anyone to buy.

Monday saw a good turn out of 27 walkers to do a short, but quite fast, walk around the town via Lake Field and the Old Mill, led by Sandra Strange.

On Tuesday Gina Johnson led the walk to Fuller’s Farm and back via the railway station.

Wednesday saw a smaller group go out to Beech Farm and back via the Old Mill led by John Harmer, a seasoned walk leader, who pointed out many sights on the way.

Amazingly the first three walks avoided rain – despite very discouraging and wet daytimes.

On Thursday night the weather was not kind, and following a sunny morning, it tipped down with steady rain in the evening, nevertheless three stalwart walkers went a short distance along the Telham Lane and Powdermill Area route.

This walk had been checked a few days before and a stretch had been hand cleared, by BR members with garden secateurs, of brambles and weeds to reveal a wider, safer pathway.

Path clearance is notified to Battle Town Council and, in co-operation with East Sussex County Council Rights of Way team, even more had been done during the week.

Meanwhile the ESCC Ranger team had installed a replacement ‘tumbledown stile’.

Matthew Harper, Senior Rights of Way Officer at ESCC, explained that the original stile had deteriorated and when too damaged it had been removed.

The newly installed ‘tumbledown stile’ was skilfully constructed by Marcus Cleveland using dimensions and photographs of the old stile that was in place, a short distance along the path, in the 1970s which were provided by a gentleman now living in the USA.

It is so carefully balanced that it works with the lightest of finger pressure.

The work has been undertaken by ESCC Rights of Way in partnership with the Battle Town Council as part of a project aimed at improving access to the countryside, funded through the European Regional Development Fund.

Finally the walk on Friday, led by Bernard Mabon, BR Footpaths Secretary, took the walkers a little further afield to Farthing Pond and Peppering Eye.

On this walk 18 people took in the small nature reserve just off the main walk and saw at least one quite unusual wild flower.

Bev Marks, BR chairman, said: “Overall we clocked up 205 ‘person-miles’ in the week with an average of 15 walkers per night and that does not include the dog miles also walked!

“It appears that this Battle’s Big Event was enjoyed by all the walkers and I can say that the dedicated Battle Ramblers team enjoyed organising this activity.”