Reported in the Glenside News in June 1995 …
From Richard Foers …
Once again the weather was kind for the May Footpath Walk, with the morning dawning bright and sunny giving a pleasant walking temperature. Given the conditions it was decided to change the planned walk to Stocken and instead embark on a slightly longer walk to circumnavigate Tortoiseshell Wood. It was pleasing to welcome walkers from Little Bytham to the group.
Our route lay down Glen Road and out on the Swayfield Road. As we passed the village pond in bright sunlight a number of young ducklings were busying themselves on the water before we went on to note less attractive developments on Counthorpe Road corner – not that this is the place for a homily on the vegaries of SKDC planning decisions and their effect on the rural landscape! And so we turned off the main road onto the farm track past Red Barn, shortly to become the site of a Bullimores gravel pit, for which the access road is currently being developed. Some decisions will have to be taken soon on the diversion route of the footpath we were walking before the site work begins in earnest.
And so along the well signed route to the buildngs of Park House Farm, where several footpaths converge. We were able to use part of farmer Brian Chorlton’s road to link up with te Castle Bytham footpath to Lobthorpe, which we then followed to Tortoiseshell Wood. Here a variety of birds were in fine song and bluebells and garlic predominated in a lovely floral display. This ancient mixed deciduous wood is owned by the Lincolnshire Trust, of which several of our group are members. Here we also noticed vandalised pheasant eggs – or were some patridge? – which in fact became a sad feature of the walk, for overall we must have come across between 50-60 eggshells along the route which appeared to have been attacked by crows or magpies. As we retraced our steps towards Castle Bytham along a well cleared path through a field of corn we came across a route marker post by the side of a copse which was heavily marked with bird lime and surrouned by at least 20 eggshells. Perhaps the shooting won’t be so good this autumn!
We continued across unmarked set-aside towards the corner of the burned out barn at Angel Wells Farm where the next route marker post stands to find our way blocked by freshly ploughed land, which involved a short detour before we were back on track and passing through Hix’s well marked path through his corn and rape fields and back on the main road to the Castle Inn. Some of the views to the north throughout the route had been very attractive and the walk overall enjoyed by some 22 happy if slightly footsore walkers, some of whom took refuge on the patio of the Castle Inn for a ell earned refresher.
During the week preceeding the walk the Castle Bytham Parish Council had taken the momentous decision (in footpath terms!) to form a partnership with Lincolnshire County Council to improve the overall waymarking of footpaths within the parish. I understand a small working group is to be formed to guide the way and once their terms of reference have been agreed I hope an early initiative will be to liaise with local landowners in a cooperative spirit to mark routes clearly, which is to their own advantage since on two of our walks we have seen other parties walking through corn because they have lost their way!
June Walk …
The next walk will be on the second Sunday of June, the 11th, leaving the Castle Inn at 10.30am. In all probability we will undertake the Stocken Walk we didn’t take in May! Anyone with an interest in nature and the local environment is most welcome – as are their dogs and children but not necessarily in that order!
Added : 10/12/11 : MG