Monday, 3 September 2012

Wind Farm to Corhampton Down (Wayfarer's Walk 14)

Looking east

There seem not to have been many opportunities to walk lately, with our strangely busy social life and the uncertain weather, but today offered a chance to get out so I returned to the Wayfarer's Walk for the first time since June 16. I picked up the route at Wind Farm and followed a field-edge track shared with the South Downs Way to Lomer Farm, where the Wayfarer's Walk turned off to the south. It's all agricultural land here, but the view east (above) was very pleasant.

This is all part of the Preshaw Estate, and soon I was looking across to Preshaw Down.

The trail headed on along a long shallow valley with the splendid name of Betty Mundy's Bottom and then detoured through woodland around a rather grand looking house, mysteriously marked on the map as Betty Mundy's Cottages. Then along through the continuation of the valley to St Clair's Farm. I went just a bit further, along a narrow road heading south beside Corhampton Down before deciding that it was time to turn round.

All of this raises the key question of who was Betty Mundy. A bit of Googling reveals that others have asked, but no-one seems to know for sure. The best answer I found here is that it may be a corruption of the Latin beati mundae - the most blessed place in the world - a name given to the place by a Roman legion. Or Betty may have been a way-layer of sailors or a curser of cattle.

There was a nice view of the Bottom on the way back, with the sun behind me and my new Polarising filter on my camera delivering the promised bluer skies. This filter seems to have been a great buy. It reduces glare from sunlight on leaves, water and the sky, and makes the sky look more blue. I did a number of comparative tests and there seems no doubt that these claims are true. You may just have to lighten the foreground afterwards.

Conditions: hot and sunny, very still, puddles in the bits of woodland.

Distance: 6.5 miles altogether, 3.25 forwards. 49.75 miles - OK, call it 50 - now covered. Just about two-thirds of the way.

Map: Explorer 119 (Meon Valley, Portsmouth, Gosport and Fareham)

Rating: three stars. Pleasant enough, but no real drama.


Not much to see in fact, apart from simply hundreds of young pheasants. I think I have read that 7m are released each year. Poor things, they know not what awaits them. Here is one gathering of twenty or so.

Butterfly of the day

Not many butterflies either: large and small Whites, several Speckled Woods, a Red Admiral, A Peacock. I was quite pleased however with this shot of a Speckled Wood with folded wings: normally they seem to roost with wings wide open.

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