It has become an increasing problem of late that so many of our local paths (and no doubt similar paths over farmland nationwide) are overgrown with, amongst other things, five-feet tall stinging nettles, and long snaking brambles.
With that in mind, today’s outing was folly.
Even greater folly was choosing to wear shorts (the first time in eight years that I’ve walked in shorts; eight years ago I got put off by an encounter with nettles…). I didn’t even own a pair of shorts until half an hour before we left the house, when an old pair of walking trousers succumbed to an assault with scissors and WonderWeb.
The inspiration for today’s walk was, once again, the football (or to be precise, more Football Avoidance). A barbecue had been enjoyed with eldest step-son and family, and when everyone then settled down to watch the football, I strode off in the direction of home.
Eight million cows in a small field was the first obstacle, followed swiftly by nettles, brambles, thistles, broken stiles, barbed wire, nettles, brambles, thistles, electric fences, waist high grass, nettles, brambles, thistles, knee high grass, nettles, brambles, thistles, woefully lacking waymarking and, just for good measure, a few more nettles.
I didn’t make it the whole way home. Just as I had overcome the last obstacle and was set for an easy stroll through the last 3-miles, I spoke to Mick and he was just heading home himself. I’d had enough of my outing. “Wait ten minutes, then meet me at the bridge” I said.
I climbed into the car a while later with bloody scratches and nettle rash all over my lower legs. They’re still tingling now. I’ll think more carefully about wearing shorts in future. And I’ll certainly not be taking that route again!
An ex-woodland sort of a pond
Overgrown nightmare – fortunately this one easy to by-pass
If I’d battled through the nettles here, I would have been faced with wheat planted right up to the field boundary. I took my chances with the cows in the adjacent field.
The stats were 7 miles walked, with a tiny handful of ascent.