Rural rides 1

chichYou can almost walk from North Foreland in Kent to Lands End, Cornwall along the south coast of England sticking to constituencies with over a 100 signatures for our e-petition to ban driven grouse shooting. But Chichester, on 99 signatures, is a bit of a blocker for a little while.

I’ve never been to the easternmost point of South Thanet (105 signatures) but I quite fancy the idea.

From there one has to skirt around Dover at the moment, but probably not for long, (93 signatures), and head inland to Canterbury (113 signatures) which is a treat in itself. From there one can get to the south coast in Folkestone and Hythe (113 signatures) and then on to Hastings and Rye (124 signatures) and Bexhill and Battle (112 signatures).  What a lovely walk!

We have to go inland to circumnavigate Eastbourne (83 signatures) and pass through Lewes (137 signatures) and on to Brighton, Kemptown (144 signatures) before enjoying the prospect of Brighton Pavilion (195 signatures).

Onwards to Hove (141 signatures), East Worthing (116 signatures) and then Worthing West (107 signatures).  We now have a problem as Bognor Regis and Littlehampton (99 signatures) is stuck just below 100 signatures – but not for long – but we can skip inland through Arundel and South Downs (140 signatures) and get good views of the sea and the coast from the South Downs.

We now have to make camp and wait for either Guildford (98 signatures) or Chichester (99 signatures) to reach 100 signatures and when either of them does then we have a clear run through to Lands End via, initially either South West Surrey (134 signatures) or straight into East Hampshire (108 signatures) and then Winchester (100 signatures).

We do have to move inland to Salisbury (111 signatures) before checking out South Dorset (127 signatures) and then West Dorset (155 signatures) – these are lovely places at this time of year with plenty of butterflies to hold our interest and the odd bird too.

Into Devon – glorious Devon! – where Tiverton and Honiton (134 signatures) and then East Devon (133 signatures) usher us into a rare Labour seat in Exeter (142 signatures). We skirt through Central Devon (161 signatures) before checking out, perhaps, Newton Abbott races (105 signatures). We need to avoid Torbay (86 signatures) with its killer seagulls and on to Totnes (156 signatures).

We should now cut through Torridge and Taw (170 signatures) in order to position ourselves for crossing the Tamar into Cornwall, which we enter via North Cornwall (109 signatures).

There are still four constituencies for us to enjoy before we get to Lands End (or maybe the Lizard – both have Choughs these days): St Austell and Newquay (107 signatures), Truro and Falmouth (137 signatures), Camborne and Redruth (121 signatures, home of Defra minister George Eustice) and then on to St Ives (138 signatures).

It would be a lovely walk – and you can’t get much more ‘southern England’ than its route. It takes us through about 30 constituencies one Green, two Labour and the rest Conservative and all have at least 100 signatures for banning driven grouse shooting.

If you are reading this in the Chichester constituency and haven’t signed up then please get on with it! That will make the walk a lot easier.

Other pleasant walks through the land of banning driven grouse shooting are planned.

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6 Replies to “Rural rides 1”

  1. How about the Pennine Way or Wainwrights Coast to Coast both great walks in relevant country and surely all over 100, if not why not?

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  2. Mark
    When you want to do the South Thanet walk give me a call, would be happy to show you around my home town!
    Wonderful Thanet Coastline huge amount of waders (on a good day!) around to Sandwich Bay LNR and it's bird observatory. A splendid walk 🙂

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  3. ‘… I am on the turnpike road from Midhurst to Chichester. The lane goes through some of the finest farms in the world. It is impossible for corn land and agriculture to be finer than these.’
    [Journal entry, 2nd Aug. 1823, from William Cobbett’s Rural Rides.]
    If he were alive today, what would this great traveller, prolific writer, political campaigner and champion of the poor, make of the greed and the abuse in the modern British countryside?

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  4. As you observe visiting Canterbury is a treat in itself but has been made a little better in recent years by the presence of a pair of Peregrines nesting on the cathedral's Bell Harry tower. Meanwhile, further east along the Stour Valley at Stodmarsh the winter roost of Hen Harriers has plummetted and the numbers recorded in the county overall has dropped alarmingly. The issue of driven Red Grouse shooting and the associated persecution of raptors isn't one that just affects upland moorland. We in Kent, just as much as those living in or near the breeding areas (or would-be-breeding-areas), simply want of Hen Harriers back!

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  5. Mark, please don't avoid Torbay on your Rural Ride. The killer seagulls only take one child and two chihuahuas a year, so I think you may be more than even their crop can take...

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