I thought it would be nice in August to have a waterside walk combined with a bit of interest and a lunch place where we could sit outside in the sunshine and enjoy the river views. Maylandsea ticked all the boxes. I had not envisaged that the day would bring rain and low temperatures but nevertheless seven stalwarts donned suitable gear and had a thoroughly good morning’s walk.
We met at the marina and headed west on the seawall following the St Peter’s Way. The tide was low and the exposed mudflats provided us with the sight of many wading birds. In the distance dark rain clouds threatened but the rain didn’t reach us until we were well on our way. Leaving the seawall our route took us across farmland, which unfortunately for us had been turned over and the sodden mud accumulated on our boots turning our sprightly steps into a strenuous plod.
The first point of interest was the sighting of the ‘petrified’ oaks at Mundon. These majestic trees, not petrified at all but just dead, stand eerily in a field; we counted seventeen in total. It has been claimed that the oak forest is first mentioned in the Domesday Book. Later, the oaks narrowly missed being cut down for shipbuilding when a fleet was needed to sail against the Spanish Armada. I have read that salt water poisoning caused their demise but it is not certain whether that was due to flooding or seepage.
The second point of interest came shortly after. St Mary’s church has been restored by the Friends of Friendless Churches and has some fine architectural features. It is mainly known for its weather boarded timber-framed tower and its outstanding 16th century north porch with carved wooden spandrels. It also retains a complete set of 18th century box pews. On the east wall is a nave mural. There is plenty of printed information to digest and on a fine day it would have been nice to take advantage of the seats provided outside to read more but we pressed on with the east wind blowing in our faces.
It was a pleasant walk back to the seawall and not too demanding. By the time we got there the tide had risen so the view looked entirely different. It was a unanimous decision not to walk in the afternoon and so we lingered over lunch in the bistro.
Forthcoming meetings (4th Tuesday monthly)
September 23rd Meet at Tillingham on The Green 10.00 7kms/4.5miles (if coming by bus the D4 leaving the Clock Tower at 9.30 will get you there on time – the bus returns at 14.07, so don’t linger too long in the pub!) Optional walk in the afternoon. Contact Jill Taylor 783669, walk leader, for further details.
October 28th Meet 10.00 at The Star, Steeple 7kms/4.4miles
November 25th Meet outside the Blackwater Bistro, Maylandsea 6.5 kms/4 miles
Diane Caulkett (783786)