It hasn’t been easy to admit that in order to be able to make a return to doing longer walks we will have to leave the dog at home. But it is also a relief to do so. I have missed doing more strenuous walks on a regular basis and am conscious that I am not as fit as I’d like to be. The dog still gets his walks, plus gets to sleep by the woodburner while we are off. So he doesn’t get that raw a deal.

So with good weather forecast for the day we set off for the chalk hills of Wiltshire. Walked an 8km loop from Win Green Hill, Wiltshire. Saw red kites, buzzards, a kestrel, ravens and a flock of corn buntings and yellowhammers. Also 3 sika deer 1 including a stag with a fantastic set of antlers. Despite the rain it wasn’t too wet underfoot. Fairly easy going most of the way with a short steep climb at the end to get the heart pumping. Enjoyed a cuppa and the last of the Christmas cake at the end.

  1. Originally, I said they were Fallow deer and this was based on one of them being spotty. The antlers of the stag, which was much further away, were not quite like Fallow deer but because of the spotty one, that’s what I presumed they all were.

    I then recalled seeing Sika deer on Arne and that some of them were spotty. It would make much more sense that the 3 we saw on this walk were Sika, knowing they have increased in number in the south west over the last couple of decades.


Stephen James

Minding the gaps

© Stephen James 2021

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