The National Trust is rerunning its Great British Walk event this year, take a look at the website for a guided and or downloadable walk near you, there are thousands of acres of fantastic landscapes out there waiting to be explored. Locally we are doing a guided walk from Black Down to Woolbeding, giving you the opportunity to soak in views like this.

Temple view 1

The walk passes over the top of the highest point in the South Downs National Park, with views (if its clear!) as far as the sea. It passes through and gives us an opportunity to look out over some of the most densely wooded countryside anywhere in England, right at the time when the leaves are changing colour on the trees.

It is on friday 1st November from 10am-4pm meeting at Tennysons Lane Car Park on Black Down near Haslemere. A minibus will give transport back to the start, if you want to come along please book by ringing 01730 816638 or emailing

Temple view 2

I will be leading the walk, along with Fiona from Woolbeding, its one of my favourite walks around here, so I am really looking forward to it. The views are incredible, and it passes through some really interesting historical and natural landscapes, a proper autumnal treat.

Out there in the woods the colours on the trees are looking fantastic, especially if you are really lucky and manage to catch a ray of sunshine reflecting off them. Lots of trees seem to be having a very strong mast year, meaning they are producing lots of seed. Its their way of providing a strong chance of a healthy next generation of trees. Every few years when the weather conditions are favourable they fruit like crazy. Heres hoping enough viable seed escapes the predations of the deer and gives us some strong healthy saplings.

The oaks in particular are producing masses of acorns. As I write this I can hear them dropping out of the trees and bouncing off the roof of my land rover. They give a really textural feel to the paths in the woods at the moment, making a particularly satisfying soft crunching noise as you walk over them. Sadly I don’t know of a decent culinary use for acorns, but I certainly do for sweet chestnuts, some of which are also particularly prolific this year.


If they are coppiced they dont usually fruit that heavily, but some of the maiden trees produce a really healthy crop of nuts. This bowlfull took only a minute or two to collect, I had to stop for them, they were the best ones I have seen for years, fat and swollen and tasty looking, and now sat by the side of the fire waiting to be roasted at Christmas time.