Feeling the need for a good stride-out and with such glorious sunshine after the weekends wind and rain how could I not take Rufus for a walk at Rudge.
We are lucky to have so many great public footpaths in our part of Wiltshire, and as Rufie and I walked out along one of my favourites I could hear kites mewing and the sound of pheasants cackling in the undergrowth.
I know the shoot is reason that there are so many pheasants. I understand landowners need to make a profit . . . and that the shoot brings good revenue . . .
However, what I don't understand is why the chaps with the guns are driven to their prey, which after all is in turn driven to them, and after they've shot the birds, dogs go and retrieve the carcases - so maybe they could do just a little bit of walking - perhaps even notice the landscape in which they are, instead of messing up the footpaths and sitting on their b'hinds.
I know it's private land and that I only have a right of way - I get that . . . and I'm jolly lucky to be free to exercise that right, but I'm still cross that these lazy numptys just blithely make a huge mess and inconvenience for anybody out walking.
Public footpaths often form a dense network of paths which offer a great choice of routes to many different destinations, and it's probable that most footpaths in the countryside are hundreds of years old or even more . . . so any walker follows in the footsteps of many previous generations. And thank goodness that in England a public footpath is a path on which the public have a legally protected right to travel on foot, (not to clamber in and out of potholes!)
Last week this path was just smooth grass . . .
so was this one . . .
This photo from January last year shows how the wear and tear of vehicles wrecks the grass paths - and it's looking horribly like the footpaths this year will turn into a quagmire well before December.
Now I'm back in The Shed and feeling a little less indignant, so on a lighter note, it's truly lovely out in this bit of Wiltshire countryside, and any berries still found in the hedgerow absolutely glowed in this morning's sunlight.