The promise was no mud and some exertion and the walk lived up to it.

There were eighteen of us assembled at the Brewers ordering our lunch on what was a dry day. A minor miracle during the recent weather.

We used the track up Grove hill to gain the ridgeway. The row of trees planted some three years ago are mainly looking healthy and there is now a new track of compacted white stone along the flat section which is less comfortable on the feet but very successful at reducing the mud.

Turning right at the ridgeway we walked a further 200 metres before taking the path down to Friar Waddon road. The coffee break was at Corton Chapel and a neighbour kindly unlocked the door to allow those who wished to see inside.

Suitably refreshed we tracked over the field to reach the first of our stiles. More a slab of stone really and quite aesthetic but difficult for large dogs. Keith was a star in helping out here.

The route back to the ridge is quite steep and there is one tricky stile where the land drops away and is slippery. Rollo was the superman this time, assisting everyone who needed it.

A recently fallen ash tree across our path, was a demonstration of the effect of die back, the black core clearly showing the destruction by the disease. The ridgeway was eventually accomplished and after a pause to recover we returned by the same track we had used two hours earlier.

The Brewers was excellent as usual. The walk was around six miles with 850 feet of ascent and no mud! Well not much. Thanks to everyone who came and made it such an enjoyable morning.

Stuart Nuttall