Three intrepid Members, Roger, Malcom and Peter with Carol, braved the February weather for a relatively pleasant walk around the perimeter of the commons, returning to our start point by crossing Ashtead Common. “Intrepid” because the forecast had not been favourable, and it was very wet earlier in the morning, so that some members decided that caution was the better part of valour-some would say that showed wisdom!
However, it had stopped raining before our start time, and it even brightened up mid-morning. Our 4.5-mile walk started by crossing Ashtead Common, managed by the City of London.
We then followed a loop around Epsom common, the responsibility of Epsom and Ewell B.C.
Ashtead Common is a National Nature Reserve, largely due to the many of ancient oaks there, a number of which we passed-some are gaunt and as such make useful land-marks.
Both commons enjoy protected status as a wild-life haven, with a combined area of over 500 acres. When in the middle, out of sight of habitation, one can get the feeling of being quite remote. One Member commented that he was unaware that such a rural area existed so close to home! Fortunately, much of our route was on dry made-up paths, much appreciated by dogs taking their owners for a walk, although we did have to dodge a few cycles.
After about 2.5 hours we returned to the Star pub for a snack, and some pleasant conversation to round the trip off.
This was our first walk, of the year, and I hope others will follow at about every six weeks or so. We always go back to a pub for a snack or lunch, as members prefer, so making for a pleasant social occasion. Please watch for details on the web-site!
Good walking, Malcolm