RICHARD WILLIAMSON Country Walk...Hunston Copse

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This was the walk often enjoyed by ‘Mr Chichester’, Bernard Price, who lived in Hunston.

Writer, poet, historian, broadcaster, he is much missed by us all.

Park at canal bend. SU866024 on road to Selsey. South along pavements until just past the Spotted Cow turn left on fingerpost into the fields. Quietude soon prevails as you track east to Hunston Copse.

Turn left over footbridge to skirt this oak and hazel copse with its hollies, field maples, ash and willow trees.

Turning right over stile note the male ferns and hart’s tongue ferns in the ditch and the honeysuckle on the trees. Lots of ivy on the ground shows there are not many deer hereabouts.

Follow the tall old hedge towards North Mundham church. To see St Stephen’s, briefly left on reaching road.

Many 18C gravestones, and much 13C interior, but the outside rebuilt 1883 with crude but solid sandstone.

Do note the heart-shaped flint on east wall, and the medieval sculpture of figures on east jamb of south porch.

Return to Fisher Lane, southward, soon into the rich cornlands and distant scattered trees that happily remain timeless.

Right at road junction noting some ancient pollard trees of oak, lime, horse chestnut in the garden of the great house.

Then right again at Fisher Barn and right yet again to the open fields, aiming just to right of Lombardy poplars, with Chichester cathedral spire in the distance.

The field ditches are filled with willowherb and reed mace in summer.

Keep straight ahead northwest at footpath branch then sharp left and right at Church Farm, arriving at St Ledger’s church.

This is another 1880s attack on the ancient fabric by AW Blomfield, but I liked it. It looks substantial, but is locked up like North Mundham. One can only enjoy the graveyard, and there I had my lunch.

I was most intrigued by the gargoyles on the belfry. That on the southeast corner is a long-eared owl, the southwest monster a griffon. Curious.

Opposite the church is the 1670 nine-bay manor house complete with rhino and two lions made of wire. Very effective. The large pond with golden willows and mallard and moorhens is as well.

The road continues back to Hunston between nice tall old hedges of ivy, and bramble, elms and willows, hawthorns and unidentified evergreens.

Turn right past the Spotted Cow, and so back to the car park.

Alas, the Morris in which Bernard and I had some adventures is no longer with me, having failed its MOT.

Hopefully it will have a caring new owner who will repair the ravages of the Sussex mud and ice.

The Alvis is now between the shafts.