RICHARD WILLIAMSON Country Walk...Pulborough Brooks

This is a lovely walk through the water meadows of the Arun river, with views of the distant Downs. Distance 3.3 miles (5.2kms), sometimes damp underfoot.

Parking in Pulborough just south of the main A283. Steps down to the meadows on the west side of park takes you over a footbridge crossing the Stor tributary into the RSPB nature reserve.

In spring you have the reed buntings and cuckoos, sedge warblers and reed warblers all singing their heads off.

Autumn and winter will show you moorhens and mallard, shelduck, wigeon and teal in the lakes.

This is a birder’s paradise too for waders which prefer the inland wet meadows to the sea coastal mudflats.

It is quite possible too for otters to be travelling up this river and possibly getting themselves into the lakes as well.

Plenty of food for them hereabouts from eels to rabbits, ducks and divers.

These are lazy rivers in summer, but in winter after heavy rains the Arun can have some spectacular floods which are not really swimmable, so keep a check on the weather before setting out.

Eventually the path leaves the Arun, left into a sandy lane uphill with a big old willow nearby.

The RSPB hide looks over the lake and scrapes. The waders to be seen here are redshank, green sandpiper, common sandpiper, snipe and lapwing among others.

At this season masses of small migrants will be in the bushes, these including chiffchaffs and blackcap warblers.

The footpath takes us past the tiny church of Wiggonholt which was built for ‘yeoman farmers, shepherds and herdsmen of the wildbrooks’ in the 12th to 13th centuries.

Look for Christ walking on the sea in the central medallion of the 1859 east window, and for nearly 50 species of plants in the churchyard.

Sharp left around the old rectory wall northward over stiles and through meadows and so onwards down steps to Bankside Cottage with its fabulous sunset views over the marshes reminding me of the Carmargue.

Follow edges of the brooks north along rue with wild plum and elder trees.

You will cross the Stor again and follow it northeastward finally on to Brook Gate Farm.

Unfortunately the only way back is along the pavements of the town road for one kilometre.

So I sometimes do this walk in reverse, leaving the best to last as it were.

Either way, the sight of your old Morris, now become an Alvis, or in your case a modern magic carpet of silence and sweet plastic smell, is comforting after this stroll through what to the Romans was a dangerous swamp which they crossed with difficulty on one of their engineered roads.