RICHARD WILLIAMSON Country Walk...Inholmes Wood, Stoughton

Inholmes Wood is between East Marden and Stoughton and is a Forestry Commission beech plantation of 1950.

This walk is of 3.9 miles (6.2kms) over mainly hard paths with no stiles. Park at FC roadside car park SU815126.

Northwest along the minor road finding a metal gate left after 600 yards into the trees. Wide hard forest ride uphill, with sapling willows attacked by roebuck and sycamores by grey squirrels.

Lovely serene atmosphere under tall young beeches with blackcap warblers singing and speckled wood butterflies and white admirals whose caterpillars have fed on honeysuckle.

Ride curves sharp left at top where some big spotted orchids are in flower on your left verge. The clay with flints cap holds the water so rushes grow occasionally.

These 1950s rides resemble Roman roads. Silverweed grows along edges, with yellow flowers low down. Cross over the footpath near a garden seat. You will pass a group of tall Douglas firs with smaller Lawson cypress. Deer hide on left. Bugle and wood spurge grow along ride edges. Do not touch the spurge flowers as white sap might be harmful to eyes.

At the next cross footpaths take the yellow arrow right, downhill on squishy path. Halfway down look for woodruff flowers.

Kink in track by a group of nine old beech trees. Then you come out into a wheat field crossing this to Pitlands Farm with a new hedge of hawthorn, dogwood and field maple first. Turn right at farm on yellow arrow past holiday let barn conversion.

Your path is now uphill past a majestic old field maple, then along a line of Norway spruce then a hazel hedge. Pass the wreck of an old Victorian shepherds hut. What a pity, it needs rescuing.

A deep chalk quarry pit to left is presumably why the farm has its name. Through wheat fields turning left on yellow arrow and on towards a soldier ash tree wounded once by barbed wire.

Keep going north along the edge of a rue with bluebells. Halfway by a bifurcated beech note badger pass under sheep netting and St George’s mushrooms.

Turn right on blue arrow, southeast into an avenue of oaks and beeches where a green woodpecker lives. More pits, also flowers of archangel, bugle, stitchwort and cranesbill.

Out into oilseed rape fields with slots of fallow deer in the mud. They make a neat browse-line on the trees. Nuthatches and jackdaw nest here. Arrive back into Inholmes Wood, kink left right on blue arrow passing old concrete blocks. Two stock doves have nests here.

Then you pass that garden seat again. Very pleasant place to have a coffee.

Cross over the wide forest ride now continuing east and the path descends through scrub paradise for warblers and fly orchids here too, also several wayfaring trees. Aged beeches in the hedge with woodpeckers in them.

Your path kinks left by houses back onto the road and turn right to find in my case, an old classic called Alvis, ready to purr home again.

** See the May 24 issue of the Observer to view a map of this walk.