Walking in drizzle is always a bit of a treat for me as we hardly seem to ever get it anymore, there’s something refreshing and beautifully British about it and this weekend saw some fine drizzle as we walked just down from Stourhead along the tops of White Sheet hill overlooking the estate itself. The weather was pretty grim but on climbing up through the Hill Fort, we were met by the rather awesome site of about 10 – 12 kids with parents all trying to fly kites in some fairly grotty weather. They all then proceeded to sit on one of the barrows at the top to eat some Birthday Cake!
Leaving this happy sight we strolled on around the edge of the hill getting blown about a bit. I wondered if Ifor would complain about the weather, but he seemed fairly happy to be in the drizzle, so on we padded. Rounding the top we came to the lane that crossed the top of the hill, and with it, a 4×4 Landrover, 2 Quad bikes and a motocross bike riding up and down the lane itself. Try as I might, I couldn’t help but feel my heart sink as what had been a reminder about being glad to be alive, became a reminder of the traffic that makes up our normal lives. To be fair, they were politeness personified and slowed down whenever passing us and courteous if we were anywhere near them. I really enjoy the outdoors and got to wondering if my disappointment is perhaps a tad snobbish, surely all should be able to enjoy the hills? The lane had been damaged by their use, but I am also aware of the damage that walkers and mountain bikers can do as witnessed by heavy traffic areas in the Peaks and Snowdonia. My mood swung though as we drove back down the lane to the main road and we witnessed the motocross bikes going up and down the bridleway opposite – the lane was virtually impassable due to the depth of ruts for anything other than a bike. I’m wondering what can be done as a solution to bring back the peace and have people share pursuits outside or if I am being a tad naive.