Stratford St Mary to Nayland

18th April 2014

A quick photo summary of the walk from Stratford St Mary To Nayland. We, Florence, Ebb Tide, Secret Informant and myself, meet at Nayland before driving back to the start of the walk. The day is warm, spring is springing and robins could well be singing.

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We have bridges to cross…

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…and we take care not to burn these behind us.

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Pretty footpaths…

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…with the occasional sign to keep us on the straight and narrow. Some people say that the Stour Valley is characterised by an atmosphere of undue self-regard. That it is up itself. This blog however,has no time for such shallow aspersions.

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Pretty footpaths give way to pretty bridleways…

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…bordered by potato fields divided into furrows of remarkable symmetry. I used to work on a potato farm and the furrows were never like this.010 (1)


This is what a sprayed footpath looks like.

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And this is what Big Agriculture looks like.

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We take a wrong turn (no proper walk is complete without one), and in order to avoid a lethal road with high banks on either side, no verge, blind bends and fast-moving traffic, we take to the borders of a ploughed field.

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This footpath comes as some relief…

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…and leads to another lane.

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And I can’t help but admit that I’m a sucker for a well-placed stile.

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Some of the fields are very well-groomed. Lawn-mower lines on a pasture? Why?

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Florence, Ebb Tide and Secret Informant seem to know the way to a Donkey’s heart. Whatever it is these donkeys are munching was carefully selected from the nearby verge.

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We see painful signs of economic recession everywhere we go. Low taxes = house price inflation=money tied up in  domestic property and therefore inactive. Plenty of expensive houses being built round here.

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However the wealthy of this area seem always to have had a tendency to use their wealth to build property.

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15th century meets the 20th. A Harley outside a house.

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We pass a field of bulls with hair-dos in the manner of a Hollywood Roman emperor. The bird doesn’t seem impressed.

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For the motorists; Stoke-by-Nayland has a working petrol station. Nayland doesn’t.

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