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St. Leonard’s Forest

Between Hammer and Hawkins Ponds is an old bridge. I noticed that it is marked up as 3t limit. I know full well that I’m more than that. My route takes me over that bridge. The alternative would be to turn around. Doing a left at the junction has a 6’ 6” width restriction. I wasn’t going up there. I had a good look at the bridge. It’s very old, but well up to my 4t-ish. The bridge is also very short; no more than 20’. That meant that at an appropriate speed, the bridge wouldn’t take more than 2.5t.

Farther along that lane is St. John’s Church, Coolhurst. There is a long and wide layby alongside it. As it turned out, not ideal. Frustratingly, it has quite a significant camber. It had to do. There was nowhere else to park in the area. I was also surprised to hear music blasting from the rugby club close by. I was further amazed when it came to an end by 9.30pm!

A few yards back from the layby a footpath crosses the road. I turned South.

In a short while I reached Roosthole Pond.


I continued along the footpath, encountering a deer. Judging from the colour, I would say Sika Deer.

Rugosa Rose

At the end of the footpath, I met the River Arun as it is bridged by Golding Lane.

I had to walk up Golding Lane and Hammerpond Road to get to Roosthole car park, which of course, has a height barrier.

Spanish Foxglove

From there, I headed along another footpath.

I crossed a little bridge over a stream.

Then continued on.

Northern Bracken Fern

With the lovely warm weather, most footpaths have dried out, but not all.

An avenue of Scots Pine

The land dropped steeply as I crossed another stream.

The footpath opened up through Scots and Corsican Pine

Young cones of Scots Pine

Scots Pine

Young European Larch

Young Sweet Chestnut

Rusty Sallow


The footpath eventually opens to what I believe is called Whitevane Plain.

To the North edge of the plain is a large Oak, under which is a memorial stone seat facing South. It was nice to sit for a moment.


The footpath continues under a low canopy of mainly Beech and Birch.

Gorse then appears in abundance.

Field Sowthistle

Wood Millet

Alsike Clover

Tatarian Maple fruit

Copper Beech

Flowers of Copper Beech

Wood Speedwell

Silver Birch


Eventually, I arrived at Sun Oak Lodge, at the crossroads at which I started.

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