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Join me for a walk through the beautiful English Countryside
A Walk in Herefordshire
The English Countryside is so beautiful that the best way to enjoy it is to walk in it!
I would like to share a little bit about the rural county of Herefordshire; it has an abundance of beautiful and unspoilt countryside.
Allow me to take you on a walk through fields and farms, and across hills and stiles. We will see some amazing views and beautiful wild flowers along the way.
Firstly, I'll give you a little bit of background about Public Footpaths and the surrounding area.
I hope you enjoy our walk through the beautiful English Countryside!
The Rural County of Herefordshire
The diverse character of the landscape ranges from the North with its wooded hills to the rolling hills dotted with farms and orchards in the East, the river valleys in the South and in the West the grazed upland hillsides turn into mountain ridges.
There are over 4,000 registered public rights of way in Herefordshire covering just over 2,000 miles.
In England and Wales the public have a legally protected right to travel on foot on Public Footpaths. These can often form a dense network of short paths, offering a choice of routes to many different destinations. It is probable that most footpaths in the countryside are hundreds of years old or more.
Where a Public Footpath crosses a ploughed or planted field the landowner must ensure that the route is walkable, so he must ensure that the surface of the path is flattened after ploughing.
We have all kinds of Public Footpath signs and stiles to cross from one field to another.
Ordnance Survey Maps
Ordnance Survey is the national mapping agency for Great Britain. Ordnance Survey Maps are usually classified as “large scale” in that they show a lot more detail than regular maps. Showing six inches to the mile or more, with exceptional detail of public footpaths and points of interest, they are ideal for navigating a walk through the English Countryside.
We are fortunate to have over 140,000 miles of public footpaths in England and Wales and these are marked by dashed green lines on the appropriate Ordnance Survey Map for that area.
What is a Kissing Gate?
This is a “Kissing Gate”. Its purpose is to give easy passage to people but, at the same time, to act as a barrier to animals.
To pass through the kissing gate, you step into the 'V' shape on the right allowing you to move the gate to the other post and so walk out the other side.
Why the name? Well the story is that a man out walking with his lady friend can pass through first and hold the gate shut - demanding a kiss before permitting his lady friend to pass through!
I’d like you to join me on just one of the many possible walks through the beautiful English Countryside.
Today’s walk covers approximately 3 miles and is circled in red on the Ordnance Survey Map.
Notice the dashed green lines on the map, indicating where the Public Footpaths are.
This is our first stile and way marker...
After a short walk we come to our next stile...
And then the next way marker...
This points towards our first field, it’s been planted with Rapeseed and the farmer has left an accessible pathway through the middle of the field.
The Rapeseed is about 5 feet high and the colour is breathtakingly beautiful.
We have many fields of Rapeseed and at this time of year, whichever direction you look, you’re sure to see a beautiful blanket of yellow, the colour is so bright and vibrant, it’s quite dazzling.
What is Rapeseed?
Rapeseed oil (Canola oil) was produced in the 19th century as a source of a lubricant for steam engines.
Now Rapeseed is grown for the production of animal feed, vegetable oil for human consumption, and bio diesel.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, rapeseed was the third leading source of vegetable oil in the world in 2000, after soybean and oil palm.
World production is growing rapidly, it’s estimated 58.4 million tonnes was produced in the 2010-2011 season.
We then follow our footpath alongside the beautiful River Wye...
What a View!
It’s so quiet and peaceful here; all you can hear is the birds singing.
I appreciate the birdsong and the lovely wild flowers growing everywhere, although I can’t identify them all!
Below is a selection of the wild flower photographs that we have taken along our way.
Choice of Walks
We now have a choice of paths and walks to take, it’s a good idea to take your Ordnance Survey Map with you, so you know where you’re going!
We choose the path that takes us up through a farm...
The Old Post Box
Past the old post box, the letters ’GR’ tell us this was in the reign of King George VI which lasted 17 years from Dec 11th 1936 until Feb 6th 1952.
The post box is still usable and there is a collection everyday, only suitable for small letters though!
Across the Stile
This stile is attached to the side of a house; there is a window just above the stile!
Across the stile we find ourselves in an old apple orchard.
As we approach the end of the orchard, we find that we have completed our 3 mile walk.
Thank you for joining me in such an amazing walk through the beautiful English Countryside.
I hope that you enjoyed it!
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