Gay Outdoor Club
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14 May 2016: Reasons to be Pelham: one, two three...

15 May 2016 | Hertfordshire Group

Event led by David W
Attendance: 16 men
Distance: 10.2 miles
Time: start 11.16am, end 3.56pm, lunch 31 minutes
Terrain: grass, track, crop field, road
Elevation: start 106m, high 134m, low 85m
Weather: Overcast with sunny spells
Number of sewage works on the walk: 0
Number of electricity transformer stations on the walk: 1

This was a circular route of miles from Furneux Pelham, N to Brent Pelham, SE to Stocking Pelham, S to East End, SSW to Patmore Heath, and NNW to Furneux Pelham.

This walk visited the three Pelham villages of East Hertfordshire: Furneux Pelham (/ˌfɜːrnəks ˈpɛləm/ FER-nix PEL-lam), Brent Pelham and Stocking Pelham, each very pretty and chocolate-box picturesque, each with a church dedicated to St Mary, each of which is a listed building (Furneux Pelham’s is Grade II*, the others Grade II; Brent Pelham’s served as a brief coffee break). Pelham was an early medieval larger swathe of land that included all three villages. Between each village are fields, gently rolling into the middle distance, mostly bright yellow with rapeseed crop. Land-owners appear to have invested a lot of effort to help wildlife, especially in the northern part of the walk, notably wildflower verges, bridleways lined with hedgerows and several small man-made ponds. These all served to give us beautiful landscape views and lots of lovely flowers to look at. Everything was green, proving that spring has well and truly arrived. There were also many beautiful farmhouses, such as Whitebarns, near Furneux Pelham, and Washall Green Farmhouse, near Brent Pelham. It was on Crabs Green that we had lunch, with the hum of a nearby electricity transformer station in the background.

After lunch we passed the transformer station, giving us much to talk about as there are pylons of many different shapes and sizes, different to the usual kind we see across the countryside generally. A nature reserve, Patmore Heath, managed by the Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust, was the location of our group shot. The highlight of many on this walk was a field of field of adorable alpacas, which desperately wanted our attention and were happy to munch on grass that we tore up from our side of the fence for them and to pose for photos.

The walk ended where it started and was followed by drinks at The Brewery Tap pub in nearby Barleycroft End.

The group at Patmore Heath
St Mary, Furneux Pelham
Whitebarns, near Furneux Pelham
St Mary, Brent Pelham
Washall Green Farmhouse
St Mary, Stocking Pelham
Dalek factory (you can just about make them out)
Patmore Heath Nature Reserve
View into River Ash valley
Buttercup meadow

Words and pictures 1-9, 11-13 by Peter O'Connor.  Picture 10 by Mark Graver.

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