Category Archives: walk

Ice and Birds

Ice and Birds
Temperatures have not gone much over freezing since Sunday’s snow. There are still places where it is icy and slippery under foot and where caution is required. I have had many unexpected slips on ice in the past, starting with a broken arm falling off my tricycle – aged four.

Yesterday we walked through the Abbey Gardens and along the Mill Stream and beyond.
Ice and Birds
There were two swans near the concrete bridge near the swimming pool.
Ice and Birds
A heron was stood further along, partly hidden.
Ice and Birds
At Barton Fields there were lots of small birds on the bird feeders.
Ice and Birds
Robins were singing along most of the route. One at Radley Lakes stayed long enough for a picture.
Ice and Birds
Most of the birds were some way away at Thrupp Lake but the ice did mean the very muddy parts were not quite so muddy.

Coming back along the cycle way, a red sign indicated Abingdon as 1.75 miles away. So that made yesterday’s walk about 4 miles and we got home without falling.

Path Clearance and Path Blocking

Cut Bushes
There is a stack like a large bonfire in the field alongside Mill Road and by the River Ock.
Cut Bushes
A nearby footpath easily gets grown over, and the stack appears to be the cuttings, chippings and choppings.
Cut Bushes
During the first lockdown part of the walk had been fenced off and now the dogleg path round some garden decking has been reinstated.

We walked it yesterday. It is narrow and so not ideal in these social distance days but we got all the way without meeting anybody.
Cut Bushes
On the way home I read a couple of notices stuck to a car windscreen. The car was parked against a kerb lowered to allow wheelchair access.

It is easily done in error but is more than a moral issue. Rule 243 of the Highway Code identifies where you are not allowed to park. One of the restrictions is that you can’t part where the kerb is lowered to provide easier access for wheelchairs and powered mobility vehicles.

Walk by Rye Farm to Swift Ditch and back by the River Thames

This walk took us down the small road to Rye Farm and then along a muddy pathway and across a large field to Swift Ditch and beyond, then back to Abingdon by the Thames path.
Walk to Swift Ditch and back
As we set out there were a few people – like us – out on their allowed lockdown exercise walk.
Walk to Swift Ditch and back
The view from the Rye Farm track is across ploughed fields with crows, towards a green rise where there are sheep and trees.
Walk to Swift Ditch and back
On the other side is a hedge that has been cut back, and a few buildings including Kingfisher barn which people can book to stay.
Walk to Swift Ditch and back
There were fewer people beyond Swift Ditch.
Walk to Swift Ditch and back
I have blogged about Swift Ditch a few times before. In 2007, the police had found the body of a lady, suffering from dementia, who went missing. She was found in one of the pools between the faster streams of water.
Walk to Swift Ditch and back
This time there was nothing quite as tragic but it might be sad. Over the other side of the River Thames there were long piles of cut down trees. Somebody asked me last month why they were cutting down so many trees down that way. Could it be for gravel extraction? The area is adjacent to the former gravel pits of Radley Lakes. I didn’t know.
Walk to Swift Ditch and back
There are a lot of boats moored by the Thames Path. My wife likened them to the Gyptian boatsĀ in Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials series, recently on BBC 1.
Walk to Swift Ditch and back
One boat was sunk in the middle of the river. Bundles of dry vegetation came floating downstream. Somebody was cutting a new clearing on the river bank. Possibly to help rescue the sunken boat.

At Abingdon Weir we had to wait a few minutes as people kept coming the other way. The new convention is that you wait until you have a clear path before going across. Sometimes it pays to wait. I did see the blue flash of a Kingfisher.

Healthy Abingdon Walks

Healthy Walks - Abingdon
Walking is simple, free and one of the easiest ways to get more active, lose weight and become healthier. It can also help you get to know more of Abingdon. Healthy Abingdon have started putting together some interesting walks around the town. The idea behind the walks are the exercise walks people have been taking since the Coronavirus crisis started. Currently there are five available at http://www.healthyabingdon.org.uk/walks.htm and they are are asking people to create more.