Fifteen Polys set off from Crowborough station for a circular walk taking in fields and woodland on the High Weald. Two members had missed the train and departed one hour later, aiming to meet us at the lunch stop. Soon we crossed one of the many ghylls found in this area. Ghylls, with their steep sided valleys, create a microclimate with high humidity and low levels of frost. They support rare flora including ferns, mosses and liverworts.

The leader was keen to miss an extremely waterlogged section, which was managed after consulting the map, and we stopped in a field to consume our picnic. It was quite chilly and we were keen to move on but had received a message from the delayed members who had nearly caught us up. The couple of stretches along country lanes had been propitious for their energetic sprint and they arrived flushed but happy to have made it.

The afternoon offers the best part of this walk, although we did encounter quite a bit of mud. After crossing the bridge over the deep Crowborough Ghyll we proceeded over the fields towards the pretty woodland of the Ghyll Nature Reserve. As we were passing the ford on Palegate Lane a rather forlorn, skinny dog attached itself to our group. We were wondering what to do when a lady from Happy Pawz drove along and took it with her and was hopefully able to reunite it with its owner. We were very pleased to find that our train back was running, as we had had a negative experience with this line on a recent walk.

Susan (photos by Ida and Stuart)