We have completed five walks this summer. It was the last walk on August 31st however that challenged us! A hill took a toll on our legs and lungs, bullocks and a bull posed a threat, the night sky was drawing in, a footpath hidden in undergrowth, and a farmer expressed his solution to lost dogs on his land! Our intrepid WI walkers, however, overcame any difficulties and the evening turned out to be a delight. The sun shone brightly and we took in the exceptional views over the green slopes of Dale Park at Slindon, all arriving safely and exhilarated back at our cars.
An earlier walk in August, one of our faithful walks up to Halnaker Windmill, was filled with chat, laughter and friendship, enhancing the usual splendid views. After several years of seeing the windmill fenced off, renovation work has started and the windmill is being returned to its original state with hung tiles covering the brick work. Let’s hope by next year’s walk there, the windmill’s sails will be reinstated too.
As well as our own WI walks, some members joined in the Federation event at Bramber Beeches and Coombes Farm. Bramber Beeches is the wood planted in 1980 by our Federation to celebrate 60 years of the West Sussex WI Federation. As well as a 3 mile walk, there was a tractor ride option to the wood (or nearly to the wood!), a picnic, and entertainment from Whispering Woods a Sussex outdoor choral group. It was so special, as summer songs were sung in Bramber Beeches where it felt the leaves and trees were joining in as we sang Jerusalem, led by our own Sue Austin.
I thank all of you who join me on the walks and look forward to continuing them through the autumn months – weather, legs and lungs permitting!