Sunday 2nd February 2020

Having met up with Roger at Ardeley village, we set off with new walker James. Ardeley has a number of thatched cottages beside the green, and also a thatched village hall. Since we were in Hertfordshire I guess I should mention that Hurricanes hardly happen here, unlike rainfall! We passed by Church Farm which is a real working farm offering a free day out with various activities, a campsite and cafe. Note to self.....a good place to fall over as there is a hose pipe and brush at the green shed near to Home Field which can be used to hose down muddy boots, gaiters, backpacks, jackets and trousers, which would have been useful a little further on as I lost my balance in the churned up mud and plonked right down in it!

Alan's skills were called upon to adjust Alexander's back back but seem he has lost his touch as unable to solve the problem. A horse rider advised us that the route ahead was ‘truly disgusting’ but once we reached the water meadow it was OK; hard to know where this all was as its fair to say the majority of the walk was very muddy.

We reached Bennington or ‘The town of the Beane folk’ just before lunch and my very soft landing in the mire. Fortunately Alan and James came to my rescue and each offered me a hand as I was well and truly stuck. Lunch was taken a little further on giving me time to dry out!

We had made good progress but found after lunch the pace slowed somewhat, probably as a result of the constant work effort to keep upright and foot placement. Passing through Walkern and by another village pond, Alexander asked why a lot of villages have ponds? ‘The village ponds were used for storing rainwater for animals and recharging of underground water’. Roger advised us that we hadn't far to go, about 2" on the map, least said soonest mended as I made a comment about it being a long 2”!!

Back at the car park it was a good clean up before taking a few more steps to The Jolly Waggoner.

Report by Sue

Walk rating – Average.

Pictures - Alan

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Neville, Janet and George.

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A house in Bennington.

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Another village pond.

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Where Sue went wallowing.

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Roger, Alexandra and Mark.

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The church at Walkern.

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A horsey scene.

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Thatched cottages at Ardeley.

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