RICHARD WILLIAMSON Country Walk...Cognor Wood, Haslemere

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Here is a woodland walk of 4.5 kms (2.8 miles) across the high weald south of Haslemere.

Minor road into Kingsley Green off the A286 takes you up on to the Marley Heights and two National Trust car parks roadside at SU887311. Find blue arrow (Sussex Border Path) west off road into holly tunnel.

Straight oaks and grand Scots pines show the sandy soil. Note a small clump of bilberry plants (Vaccinium myrtillus) on the right bank.

Keep on west at mock Tudor houses and horse paddocks and huge hollies on your left.

At the house called Harboury note how the beech trees have grown into a mock life-size giraffe. Very curious and photogenic.

Back into another holly tunnel. Here I heard great spotted woodpeckers drumming and you’ll see peck marks on many dead branches throughout this walk.

Also plenty of woodland birds such as nuthatch, great, blue, marsh and coal tits.

Look for left turn, yellow arrow, over rustic stile into meadow with post and rails.

Note the epicormic growths on the oak and the hollow branch owl hole above the stile. Also squirrel teeth marks on ivy stems.

Obvious path southwest to left of larch and Scots pines to another sturdy stile.

It is now downhill to Pond Moor through the chestnut coppice. Halfway down the plantation of Douglas firs hold a few goldcrests singing.

At the bottom, sharp left, east, on yellow arrow near power cables.

This track is very old, follows just above the spring line which eventually drain into the Lod, then the Rother. The marshy ground to right has alder trees. I saw siskins and redpolls in their crowns.

Chestnut coppice was cut about 20 years ago. Their wide roots show them to be hundreds of years old.

Pass the iron frame of a charcoal burner’s furnace. Just past that, a fine display of hard ferns looking like green feathers.

Keep left at the next two footpath junctions. The first passes a deep clear pool with bricked holding wall. Note the Irish yew tree there. It has a few gall midge growths. Just behind it an oak has been nibbled by squirrels trying to taste the fermented sap from wound growths on the trunk.

On the other side of the pond is a huge beech conglomerate of about 13m girth. Spectacular.

Up the hill path pass a large sinewy silver birch with male ferns growing in crevices.

Path bends north onwards and upwards to a 63-year-old Alvis replacement for much-mourned Morris now living in Lavant with a new owner.