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Almost On Our Doorsteps

With the pictures to prove it the Moleside members who missed an excellent club holiday in Northern Ireland made up for it with a memorable September walk much closer to home. 

Among them was regular walker and photographer Peter Wall who takes up the story.

“11 of us set off from “The Hundred Pound Bridge” on the Bookham Road, Downside Common in bright sunshine and Stephen Rouse & Stephen Mustoe led us through a most enjoyable 3.5 mile journey round the common.

Woodland covers about two-thirds of the site and there are several woodland ponds on the route. A tributary of the River Mole runs through it. Interestingly triangular pits on the eastern plain once had a concrete base and held an anti-aircraft gun. 

Some of the round ponds, at various locations across the commons, are bomb craters now filled with water.

We stopped at the Bird Hide to see what fauna and flora we could identify.

The commons has the largest Heronry in Surrey and these birds are easily spotted at the ponds where they hunt for fish.

Making our way back to The Hundred Pound Bridge, we passed the group of dwellings interestingly known as the “Isle of Wight”.

Fortunately the weather stayed fine and warm, so we adjourned to The Cricketers pub on Downside Common to sit outside and enjoy lunch together.”

Thanks for the report Peter who tells us that in 1923 the commons were bought by residents of Bookham and donated to the National Trust to manage on behalf of the community

And, for their help with the photographs, thanks too to Derek, Derick and Steve.

The next Moleside Walk is on Thursday 19 October. 

For our reports on earlier walks with the club click the Tags button below.