What a tremendous turnout for our annual Walk off Your Christmas Puddings walk! About 55 people congregated at the March Hare in Guildford.
It was quite a sight as we trekked down through the the back roads on to a route that took us along the North Downs Way and then gently up through the Chantries to enjoy spectacular views to the West and South with Shalford and Chilworth lying in the valley below.
After all the rain we have had recently, there was inevitably a little bit of mud to negotiate, but overall the walk was remarkably dry. It was great to see some new faces, and several people I spoke to said that they just hadn’t realised that there was such beautiful countryside, a few minutes walk from the centre of Guildford.
From the Chantries, our walk leader, Pete Lambert, led us towards Pewley Down through pleasant green fields below Halfpenny Lane where we admired some very impressive houses in the distance .
With so many people joining us, we met quite a few walkers, who wanted to know who we were. It was great that so many immediately knew of the Surrey Hills Society and recognised the work that the Society does for our precious landscape.
On the top of Pewley Down we drank in further wonderful views and we were able to see some of the work that is being done by the Pewley Down Volunteers, who clear areas to protect the habitat of the small blue butterfly, by encouraging the growth of kidney vetch that is essential food for its caterpillars.
From here it was a short walk back to Guildford and a well deserved mulled wine at the Keep Pub. By the end we all felt we had at least done something towards counteracting our Christmas feasting and we really couldn’t think of a better way to enjoy a mild Christmas morning out walking in our special Surrey Hills
Thank you to all the volunteers, who assisted with the organisation of our last walk of the year.
A very Happy New Year to everyone.
Gordon Jackson, Chairman