RICHARD WILLIAMSON Country Walk...Wickwood, Borden
Turn right off A272 Midhurst to Petersfield road for Borden, park roadside just past fork in road (left to Rake/Liss, right to Borden Wood, Milland) at SU827247. This walk is not for the fainthearted: some walking difficult and poor way-marking means adequate map-reading skills needed.
Walk back a few yards down road (south) past road sign and immediately turn left on maroon arrow (restricted byway) into Green Lane and after a few yards left on yellow FP arrow where large Scots pine on guard. Fallen leaves reveal chestnut coppice either side, downwards slope and firs on left and chestnut on right.
Straight across at cross track on Serpent Trail FP arrow; soon noticing road on left, emerging onto road where fallen tree. Turn right, continue along road bordered by neat paling fence. Pass shingled Nightingale Cottage in lee of hill on right. At road junction, cross over to Serpent Trail FP arrow and sign for Kingsham Farms on metalled track, past large thuja plicata, little rhododendron and beech, oak and holly. Continue past cottages and Old Farm and straight ahead through gate on yellow FP arrow (and Serpent Trail), now gravelled track. Track pleasant and open, deep ditches either side: passing neat barn complex on right continue upwards (yellow arrow FP) through a rue with hawthorn, hazel, oaks, beech, birch, holly, etc. At gate climb over sturdy stile into meadow (dark red-coated Devon bullocks grazing on my visit) and cross diagonally southeast to stile on far side into woodland strip (yellow FP arrow) and follow footpath winding up through with meadow to right. Then path not clear, but keep going ahead across small glade (meadow still to right) and path will appear again ahead through tall holly trees and two large sandstone blocks with meadow behind (on left).
Climb over stile ahead (NB no signs) and straight down slope, no obvious path, emerging into small meadow in corner of which a yellow arrow kinks you round to the right and down to small pond on left. Up short slope along fence/hedge (barns behind) and house ahead: emerging onto Moor House Lane, turn right. Pass ominous-looking house with black windows on right. Note path off to left for Chithurst Buddhist Monastery, but continue on track bending right and down through deep banks with huge beech trees either side towards New Bridge where green weeded pond on left and wet area on right. Continue, bending slightly to right and upwards: turn sharp right at dilapidated FP sign and straight up very steep slope ahead (no obvious path) to top where FP sign slants you to right where another yellow FP arrow points slightly left and into badger pit area and continue (track not obvious) on narrow path along ridge (care needed) eventually turning left at yellow FP arrow up short slope and out into meadow, keeping along righthand hedge and over stile onto road. Turn right and immediately cross road and left on maroon arrow back into Green Lane: continue westwards back to parked car: still going strong after 65 years despite ethanol in modern fuels.
* See this week’s Observer to view a map of this walk