RICHARD WILLIAMSON Country Walk...Watergate Park

Nothing finer in the world than Sussex scenery.

Here you have it all in just 6.4kms (four miles) – woods, fields, parkland, downland, and a lovely glimpse of the sea.

Park bankside the Ems, Winterbourne, at road junction with B2147, just west out Walderton: SU787105. Turn right to Compton and at the green left into Woodlands Lane, part of Monarch’s Way, climbing with Lordington Copse to your left.

Two bridleways lead right into Watergate Hanger, take the right, the east edge of the woods.

The banks have violets soon, and the ashes and beech and hazel have marsh tits wheedling and woodpeckers ticking away.

I also saw goldcrests and buzzards sailing by. Fly orchids, birdsnest orchids can be seen in early summer.

Track reaches road and follows, to shadowed cottages, to the back of which you pass.

Cross the road at entrance to Watergate Park.

After 200m on tarmac keep eastward on blue arrow, passing behind the house.

This was originally built in 1790 by Sir John Soane, rebuilt 1882, rebuilt again with the usual Parthenon capping.

Fine beeches and Corsican pines. I have seen hawfinches here and lesser spotted woodpeckers 30 years ago.

Worth a twitcher’s eye today, I daresay.

The bridleway more or less wanders eastward into and out of Woodbarn Wood.

Some fine fragments of downland on the banks on the southern edges of the wood.

Tis rumoured the man orchid once grew here.

Spotted orchids too, today, and common blue, small copper and brown argus butterflies, all fed by clumps of marjoram in summer.

Eventually come to a rue leading southeast downhill into Piglegged Row.

Cross the minor road to Up Marden and climb into the edge of Inholmes Wood, with its silver birch, hazel, big beeches and dogwood.

Fly orchids here, too, in May.

At the edge of the wood is a seat which offers magnificent view of the silver Solent.

Turn right on yellow. We are back on Monarch’s Way again, following footpath arrows south-west across the fields.

Two tracks for choice back to the Morris.

One is to stay on the route Charles II took.

Or, turn right at the minor road for 200m and then left and left again at the main Compton road.

I like the latter route because of its sumptuous hawthorn blossom in may-time and red berries in autumn.

The Morris is all the time twittering to Euro boxes and their complex electronics that confuse all their computers.

Keep life simple, I say.