RICHARD WILLIAMSON Country Walk...Southern roundabout from Canada

If coming from Chichester direction, turn right after Houghton bridge and before railway on narrow road to North Stoke. Then left, road becomes track, climbing up through fields. Park at barns marked Canada TQ039112.

Walk back down track (west) between hedges, turning left on blue BW into field just before railway goes under road. Track goes diagonally across rough downland pasture (following power line) with good open view.

At corner go through gateway and continue on track, tall ash trees either side (ignore yellow FP to right over stile) and continue ahead to next gate and through into flat open marsh meadow, with clumps of dark spiky hard rush (all flowerheads eaten by sheep).

Continue on path along edge of woodland strip to left (north); grazing sheep make pastoral idyll. Under power line and through metal gate. Note occasional mournful hoot of train owl.

At metal gate note ditch running south (right) where willowherb, reeds and teasel, good seedbearers for birds, abound. On left (north) side, elder bushes with yellow lichen and brambles.

Note pattern of ditch lines across meadow marked by strips of reed like a Mondrian painting. Listen for moorhen call, watch for kestrel, buzzard etc. Reed bed changes to woodland hedge, path continues straight ahead (meadow beyond hedge on right), ahead see steep downland. At corner turn right (blue BW) passing metal gate on left and wooden fences. Immediately turn left on yellow FP: stile but edge round it. Pause to sit on stile to admire ancient scene - vista north downland, south marsh and distant hills; even pterodactyls in the sky (well, small noisy powered planes!).

Now climb steep steps (200 of them): about step 71 pause (you’ll need to anyway) and admire view of downland valley, woodland, pasture, sheep, crows, buzzards, magpies. At step 150 note the hawthorn bushes (another chance for breather).

By 175 you are almost at the top and can now see behind you Amberley Chalk Pit. At 199, steps are over, a few yards more you are on top of the Sussex world, where a view on right across to Arundel Castle and sea beyond.

Turn left on to wide gravelled flint track and stride out north; on right strip of young hawthorn etc planted and on left ditto with chicory combined. Note one brave crabapple tree and a lone whitebeam sculpted almost fastigiate by the wind.

You are walking round the lip of the coombe (valley) you have just traversed: stop occasionally to look round at magnificent view. Continue on left chalky main track through hedges, patches of gorse and garlands of bryony berries, kestrels, buzzards, red kite possible and smaller birds such as yellowhammer.

Keep on chalk track (blue BW). Pass by side of metal gate (FP comes in from right just before).

Back at Canada barns sit and admire view of sun-dazzling sea and birdwatch for a while before taking easy way home, in lovely old woody, once a Morris, now an even older Alvis.