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So, let's see.. my proposed route would have been about 3.8 miles, which would have been a fine walk.. Of course, it didn't work even remotely that way, and ended up being 7.5 miles - keen eyes among you will recognise that that's twice the intended distance :o)

The map... I was walking from East to West. Direction-wise, it didn't exactly start brilliantly, and didn't get much better - not least of all when I was actually on the correct path, going the wrong way....

On the plus side, every time I deviated from the correct route, I saw deer - first a herd of fallow deer, complete with a stag and youngsters, and then a couple of Muntjac deer in the woods.

So yes, all things considered, it was rather a good walk.. I only had Factor 20 sunblock, so let's hope that my many hours of walking haven't managed to burn me.. Anyway, the following are my Twitter updates from the walk:
  • Went totally the wrong way, and still heading in the wrong direction, but met a family of twelve deer, so very happy :D
  • My need to not drift too far south has, inevitably, taken me much too far north.. I'm something of an idiot..
  • Found a little Muntjac too.. Today is a day for deer :o)
Right.. time to relax a little, it's been a long afternoon :o)

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(Deleted comment)
Not intentionally, but yes.. That's what the first two Twitter updates were about, talking about going too far north.. And I still ended up going too far south later anyway...

Well, this is probably a stupid question, but why are there so many clearings?

Well... a lot of the walk was straight through the woods, but the photo opportunities were far fewer there, because there were no views, and no real sense of perspective. Like, I climbed up a really steep hill through the woods for what felt like ages, turned around to take a picture, and realised that from the perspective of the picture, it would just look like it was a flat surface with some funny-angled trees, so I didn't bother..

The alternative answer is that there just are a lot of clearings.. All the land is owned by someone, except those few parts that are owned by the National Trust, so there's a lot of farmland around here.. My village has been here for over a thousand years, some of the roads around here for two thousand, and there are barrows up in the hills above here that date back several thousand more.. It just kind of becomes inevitable that people will have farmed the shit out of the area over the ages :o)

I have some pictures of my village and the hills around here from a hundred years ago, and actually everything was a good deal more bare than it is now - this area was a huge producer of furniture, and they cut down an awful lot of the old woods here for that. I'm guessing that when they planted them back in more recent times, they kept a ton of fields for grazing - on today's walk, there were horses, cows, sheep and deer all grazing in various fields, so it's probably for that.

I guess the main point is, this isn't a good area for proper wilderness. I mean, it's better than a whole lot of places in southern England, but ultimately, humans have been exploiting this land for millenia, and so none of it is actually "wild"...

Bet you weren't looking for an answer quite so long.... :o)

(Deleted comment)
Because it's pre-Roman :o)

But fuck me, that Wikipedia article is bollocksed.. I need to go edit that later - Oxfordshire is not in East Anglia, and neither of the two locations they show in pictures are anywhere near East Anglia either..

This one counts too..

(Deleted comment)
Pfft, only if flat and lifeless is your thing :oP

(Deleted comment)

How would I get the views if not from a hill? :oP

Perhaps other people live in flat places. I do not.

No, that makes sense. I guess I just forgot that England has been around for more than 400 years. ;)
Here, land is just really not so developed. I mean, I guess all the land around me is owned by SOMEONE... but they cut out an acre or two for their house and driveway, a little vegetable patch, a bit of farmland if they want it, and the rest is just trees. I never gave it a good thinking-about, I guess.

Yeah, sorry, some of us have history ;o)

Everything here has just been used, and re-used.. I wouldn't be surprised to find out that half of the species we get around here were driven to extintion at various points and re-introduced later from other locations - that's what we did with the Red Kites that are now pretty much endemic in these hills.. Which, I suppose, is one of the rather large drawbacks of having history - stuff happened in it that makes the present less cool :o)

I like how you managed to sneak those Twitter updates in there because you know that none of us would bother to read them otherwise... :)

I've actually written some code so that I can tag an entry on here, and my website re-writes it whenever new Twitter updates come in, so I can do that on the fly, and be all "Hey, follow my live progress here.." and it'll just do it.

I just haven't bothered to test it yet... :o)

You just keep giving me more reasons to scroll past your journal entries. :)

I wish you would, rather than commenting :oP

That's what I like to see. Now run along :oP

That first picture sort of looks like it was taken in Kentucky.

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