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Cowdray Forest, part 1

Living on a hill is not comfortable. Even if I do have full mobile signal for the first time in ages. It was time to move on. I chilled for most of the day. I popped into the village for some groceries. Then, in the early evening, we headed on. Just a short jaunt along the road, I turned into Cowdray Forest.

The first challenge was that the car park is smaller than I expected. The second challenge was that the car park was busier than I expected. Despite these challenges, I did manage to turn around. I backed up to one end and let Rowan out of the truck. I had a quick scout round and quickly realised that there was only one practical spot to park. To park in that spot meant having to wait until some of the cars were gone.

As it turned out, most of the cars parked there had only just arrived. A scout troupe was meeting there. They were off on a small hike. I overheard them discussing the route. They split into two groups and agreed to meet back at the car park for 9pm. They then headed off in different directions. With that, I knew that I would not be able to reposition my home for a couple of hours at least. I put the kettle on.

Of course, there is little to no signal there. Oh well. At least I was on level ground.

The scouts duly returned by 9pm and within half an hour thereafter, I was able to reposition. I then had quite a peaceful night. There were some comings and goings, but it didn’t concern me. I had been warned that this particular car park is a well-known dogging site. Personally, I don’t care what people get up to, as long as they’re not hurting anyone. My only beef with doggers is the ‘litter’ they leave behind. Why can they not clean up after themselves? Mind you, in my experience, my presence appears to deter them.

The morning became busy with dog walkers. A number of vans signwritten up with an array of different dog-walking services came and went. Each having a minimum of half a dozen dogs of all sorts of sizes and breeds.

By mid-morning, I decided to go for a walk. Cowdray Forest is managed by the Paddockhurst Estate. There is an ongoing regeneration project. Many trees have been planted, particularly Scots Pine, Douglas Fir and Larch. There are also some very old well-established trees. Footpath signage is non-existent, but the bulk of the forest is set out in a grid formation, so you can’t get lost.



Western Hemlock

Moss covered Beech

European Larch

Yellow Pimpernel

An impressive old beech

Smoky Polypore

Leaning European Larch

Scots Pine

Young cones of Scots Pine

Unfortunately, after a short while, I began to feel exhausted. I managed to complete a small circuit. Since leaving Burham, I had been doing well as far as my health is concerned. But this day, it wasn’t happening. Once home, I rested with a book.

A number of people commented on my home as they passed by. Everyone was really friendly and took a real interest in my lifestyle. They also nearly all enquired about the dogging activities.

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