The Third & Fifth Peace In Nature Walks [POSTPONED]

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Greetings Singers & Players,

You are once again cordially invited to join us for the third (and fifth) Peace In Nature Walks, entitled "(MORE) MUSIC ON A SUMMER'S HILL", originally planned to be held in 2004 and 2005 but rain stopped play. In 2006, 2007 and 2008, there never seemed to be time, so I just embarked on a solo mission with djembe on 2006-09-24 and played to the pheasants to bid farewell to summer. Hopefully sometime in 2009 (or more likely 2010) will be more favourable, weather permitting.

The location is on a fine footpath which ascends the Chilterns overlooking the village of Barton, just north of Luton. [Some of you may recall my huge panoramic photos of this place.] The views are splendid and there is a prime location to play music in a sonically secluded verdant valley, so bring instruments and songs. The Naked Truth may even be in attendance to serenade you with song, in a rare and intimate performance for our special friends, bare and acoustic like Nature intended. If it's a really nice day, perhaps we could make a whole afternoon of it and take a picnic up there and maybe stay to watch the sunset. It is only ten minutes' walk to carry things from the road (spare hands are especially welcome!), but there are only a few parking spaces close by, so it'll be best to liase by telephone to arrange who is going and share transport. There are also some stunningly steep slopes just four minutes' walk away at Barton Hills (optional) to enjoy for the sure-footed. The re-run could maybe move along the Chilterns a bit to Pegsdon.

This bracing Walk is to be taken in radiant sunshine, with the golden glow of flowers all around, as butterflies flutter by. (If anyone suffers from an allergy to oil seed rape pollen, it might be best not to come though, since the glorious yellow fields are now in full bloom.) You'll be wanting to attend in fine voice with accompanying acoustic instruments. Don't forget those camping stools/chairs if you need to sit down to play, or blankets to lie on. There will probably be some wind noise, so recording may be difficult, although I now have specialist gear ;-)

The ideal start is near OS Grid Reference TL090302 (aerial photo), where the public bridleway (red dotted line) runs southwards from the (orange east-west) Hexton-Barton road just north of Barton Hills (underneath red 08). Travel westwards from Hexton on Barton Road, up out of the village on a tree-lined road; the road then dips down slightly and opens out to fields on either side. On a slight right-hand curve, there is a small gravel parking space for two or three cars where a bridleway meets the road (beside black number 103 on this map). Further west 100m, another bridleway meets the road, and there is also room for one car to park but it blocks farm access to the field, so a better parking place would be a small layby on the north side of the road in between these two bridleways with room for two cars. Go slowly when pulling off the road as the surface is very bumpy with huge humps. Those people without things to carry may have to park a bit further away.

The route is simple: walk west 100m along the road to the second bridleway and then head south up through the field towards a secluded valley. After ten minutes, this path reaches the oil seed rape field (black on the aerial photos, now bright yellow) and joins up with the first bridleway which leads back to the cars (go back this way for variation). Heading further up the path you come to a tarmac/gravel clearing/UFO-landing-site (in the centre of this photo). Play music here. Anyone who walks further up the path, do be careful not to fall off Barton Hills. Sadly the Fairy Hole and site of Ravensburgh Castle also shown on the map are out of bounds in a private woodland.

Completing this journey will add the following points: (where n=number of participants)

These points may be used in future drumming and life events.

Please register your interest by phone or email; once everyone has responded, a suitable time can be arranged. If you can't make this occasion, but are still interested, there will be many future outings, taking in other beautiful places off the beaten track which I've found during my travels around Herts, Beds and Bucks.

© copyright Malcolm Smith 2004-05-18 - last updated 2008-04-28 - links verified 2005-04-14