October found us milling about at Fisher Lane and Tugley Wood in the deep southeast from Chiddingfold. We had waymarks, a fingerpost, a new footboard on a stile and some veg cutting to do on about three different footpaths. The hardest part was finding out where everything was supposed to go. We had instructions to fit a waymark post where a forest path left the main path to make sure people didn’t stray. We must have walked up and down the main path three or four times and could not find any sign of a second footpath, much less temptation to stray. In the end we decided the forest elves had reclaimed it and made it invisible to humans (strange things happen in the deep woods).
We liked Fisher Lane so much we returned in November, this time with four separate worksites a couple of miles apart. After much shuffling of people, cars and tools, three separate teams replaced steps on three stiles, installed a sleeper bridge, cleared vegetation and had our sarnies in the damp and muddy fields. Meanwhile, a ‘select’ team installed a new field gate at the bottom of the lawn in the garden of a large cottage and were served coffee, tea and biscuits by the owner (honestly, some people are just born lucky). However, it must be said that the whole work party got through so much work that month because we had a record turnout of 16 people—hurrah!
December found us at Gostrode Farm (across the road from the Rams Nest) where we installed two new stiles and repaired a third, whilst also installing a new fingerpost. Then we retired to the pub for our well-earned Christmas lunch.
January is our one month off but we will be back in February, raring to go.