LOWDOWN Winter 2011 page 26

MIDSUMMER WALK & PICNIC ☆ GILL’S LAP, ASHDOWN FOREST

26th June 2011 by Tony Roberts

A midsummer night’s dream-walk - well almost.

A very hot, sunny evening greeted the walkers and their hounds for this popular and greatly anticipated walk.

It was lovely to see some new members attending their first walk. One of whom, a dog-walker, operates the wonderfully named, Furry Dogmother, and arrived in some style in her suitably Basset-decorated van.

After all the normal greetings, the ‘pack’ set off at a brisk pace; but the temperatures were still high enough for even the most eager ‘alpha’ hounds to adjust their speed and slow down. Mad dogs and Englishmen . . .

It soon became clear that some hounds and owners were finding the conditions difficult. Upon reaching the bottom of a dusty, rutted track, those in the leading group rested in a shaded area and waited for those following to catch up.

After a period which allowed for man and hound to cool down we set off along a level, wide, track and appreciated some gorgeous views across the Weald to the west.

The route back to the car park required us to tackle two steep inclines.

Normally, these walks would not be too difficult, but the hot conditions made them quite exhausting work and the short rest that we took between them was much appreciated.

It was completing such endeavours that made the prospect of refreshments laid out in the shade of the trees back in the car park all the more welcome. With the end in prospect everyone’s pace seemed to quicken.

Members had brought snacks and other contributions to the communal picnic and after watering the hounds everyone tucked into the feast - which was plentiful and delicious.

Unfortunately, our esteemed Hon Secretary was unable to attend due to work commitments; and as I had to collect her from Polegate station, I bade farewell and left everyone chatting happily in the evening sunshine. In all, a really lovely ‘meet’.

Lowdown Winter 2011/12 Contents
MIDSUMMER WALK & PICNIC ☞

A midsummer night’s dream-walk - well almost.

A very hot, sunny evening greeted the walkers and their hounds for this popular and greatly anticipated walk.

It was lovely to see some new members attending their first walk. One of whom, a dog-walker, operates the wonderfully named, Furry Dogmother, and arrived in some style in her suitably Basset-decorated van.

After all the normal greetings, the ‘pack’ set off at a brisk pace; but the temperatures were still high enough for even the most eager ‘alpha’ hounds to adjust their speed and slow down. Mad dogs and Englishmen . . .

It soon became clear that some hounds and owners were finding the conditions difficult. Upon reaching the bottom of a dusty, rutted track, those in the leading group rested in a shaded area and waited for those following to catch up.

After a period which allowed for man and hound to cool down we set off along a level, wide, track and appreciated some gorgeous views across the Weald to the west.

The route back to the car park required us to tackle two steep inclines.

Normally, these walks would not be too difficult, but the hot conditions made them quite exhausting work and the short rest that we took between them was much appreciated.

It was completing such endeavours that made the prospect of refreshments laid out in the shade of the trees back in the car park all the more welcome. With the end in prospect everyone’s pace seemed to quicken.

Members had brought snacks and other contributions to the communal picnic and after watering the hounds everyone tucked into the feast - which was plentiful and delicious.

Unfortunately, our esteemed Hon Secretary was unable to attend due to work commitments; and as I had to collect her from Polegate station, I bade farewell and left everyone chatting happily in the evening sunshine. In all, a really lovely ‘meet’.

Lowdown Winter 2011/12 Contents
MIDSUMMER WALK & PICNIC ☞

first published in LOWDOWN

editor Tony Roberts