The Vanguard Way Blog has been started to complement the Vanguard Way official website: The Vanguard Way is a 66 mile, long distance footpath between East Croydon (South London) and the South Coast port of Newhaven.
Primarily we hope to record interesting sightings along the Vanguard Way with an emphasis on flora and fauna and other 'natural' phenomena. To offer a contribution, please email We will be interested to receive details of what has been sighted, where and when, together with a photo if available.

Saturday 20 September 2014

Winnie the Pooh land

The Vanguard Way will take you right into the area on which the Winnie the Pooh stories are based. We ventured up to the Ashdown Forest in August and were rewarded by fabulous views and some interesting plants to look at.  No sign of Pooh, Piglet or Eeyore but some of rabbit's friends and relations had been at work.  At the Gill's Lap car park you can usually pick up a leaflet with a map showing where to find the Hefalump trap, 100 acre wood, Pooh-sticks bridge etc.  You should also be lucky with an ice cream van at Gill's Lap car park, or in Kings Standing car park.
From Amalgam of April to Early Autumn

This summer in South East England has again been unusual weather-wise.  The soft fruit harvest has been particularly bountiful, due probably to the warm weather we have enjoyed.  Now well into September it is still very warm and conditions for our walk around the Woldingham area yesterday were really a bit on the hot side.  Rainfall has been largely absent and the rain we have had this summer has often come in extremely heavy showers. 

Wolds of Woldingham, no green dragons present

Mating Damsel flies

Trying to produce a blog on flora and fauna has been quite challenging as the fauna in particular is tricky to get clear sighting and photos of, especially when walking rather than sitting still and watching/listening.

We have been out and about when there have been some fairly dramatic cloud formations never sure whether we should have packed a waterproof but generally we haven't needed one this year.

This, of course, is the ford, not a rain puddle

Of course I should emphasise that you should never eat any plants in the countryside unless you are certain that they are not poisonous.
Hips (rose) and Haws (hawthorn) - generally edible, at least for wildlife

Spindle tree with unopened fruits - poisonous

Do post a comment if you can add any information for the photos.

I have lots of photos to show but have been having trouble uploading them.  There is a slide show below that you can click on - it shows photos from Crockham Hill and Limpsfield Chart earlier in the summer.  Then Ashdown Forest in August and Woldingham in mid-September.   Just click on the photo, not the big arrow.  If you would like to see the Picasa web album to look more closely, click on the Picasa icon on the bottom right.