High Ham Parish Walk - 21 January 2019
Ten intrepid walkers met at the High Ham Village Hall car park at 10.00 am. Walkers were from as far afield as Pitney, Somerton and Berkshire. The skies above us were grey and misty as we set off northwards towards Fountain. A sharp left turn at Fountain took us on to the path towards Turnhill Road. We safely negotiated the runway at High Ham Airport but soon found ourselves ankle deep in water at one of the gates leading across Blackham. With team effort most managed to exit with reasonbaly dry feet.
Having gained Turnhill Road we headed north west towards Beer Wood. Slipping into thepatch of National Trust green we stood and admired the view cross the levels towards BurrowBridge Mump. A comment was made that one day all this would be housing estates! Turning right into Beer Wood itself we descended diagonally north eastward to the bottom of the wood, passing, as we went, several fallen giants. The limbs of these were scattered among the trunks of their offspring. Apart from the shuffle of our feet the wood remained still and silent. At the bottom we turned west and exited the wood through the gate onto Turn Hill.
Turning right we passed Charity Farm and suddenly felt the warmth of the sun - the mist and cloud was clearing. Increasing our pace we sped on to Beer Drove and heading east we reached the footpath alongside the Old River Carey. Dredging operations had made much of the route muddy but we pressed on across the fields of High Ham Moor. Nearly all the footpath stiles had long since gone and field boundaries were secured by temporary structures bound tightly with the ubiquitous orange string. These barriers were overcome and as we neared Nythe Rd we were joined by a small herd of bullocks. They were inquisitive but kept there distance and seemed content to watch us wade in the muddy areas they had carved alongside the river. There was some discussion about the quality and variation of the wigs that some of the bullocks had pasted between their short horns.
We entered Nythe Road through the wrecked fencing adjacent to the bridge over the river and headed south and west towards Heavens Gate. A sharp left turn through the gate opposite Walnut Tree Farm took us up the steep ascent towards Fountain. As we puffed and sweatedour way up, a horse, with no name, pranced among us. We had no apples to offer. We stopped at the stile at Robbery to look back across the levels towards Hinckley Point. The mist was still enough to obscure our view of the power station.
Exiting at the triangle up from Hillside Farm we stopped again to look east across Gould's Hill and view the Tor set darkly in the mist. Breath back, we raced south to return to the Village Hall. An enjoyable walk with the distance of 5 miles being covered in 1 hour 51 mins!
A J Whitford