Ash Ranges

The firing range and military training ground near Pirbright is the largest patch of heathland remaining in Surrey and under a heavy mist in late May it is not the usual tinderbox of summer. Today, a perimeter fence bars entry except on days when the red flags are not hoisted up the white-painted poles. Nearly…

Thompson Water and Thompson Common Pingos

Thompson Water, constructed as a fishing lake in the middle of the 19th century by the local lord, is lost in woodland near the ancient Peddars Way. Soon after dawn, twists of mist drift up and across the flat water; mute swans upend to feed, ducks quack and dabble and little grebes dive. Calls from a…

Rye Harbour and Camber Castle

The sun shines all day with lines of puffy clouds to the north; the wind blows steadily from the south. Walkers and an assortment of dogs crowd the tarmac path that runs from the car park by the small harbour along the straight channel that is the river Rother to the sea passing weather-beaten, old…

North End of the Forest

The wide valley runs alongside a narrow stream for many miles, overlooked by barren hills and dark enclosures of pine and oak. The water runs to the west to feed into the river Avon and the low hills rise and fall to the north, dressed in green and purple, a former Royal hunting ground and for centuries a…