Saturday 8th October 2005
Drove up to Easington and down to the car park (GR393172) on the estuary where the bird watchers are. Set off to the right along the top of a grassy embankment with the estuary to the left and flat fields to the right. The visibility is pretty poor so can’t see a great deal. Weather very cloudy and a little windy and not too warm. Follow the wide grassy embankment for 1.7 miles, little to be seen but arable fields and eventually the large farm of Winsettts and eventually a brick block building which turns out to be the Environment Agency’s Skeffling pumping station which is actually at the end of the road to Skeffling (GR369183).
There is a car park here and Skeffling church can be seen across the fields. On the estuary side the marshy reed beds begin to open out a bit and become more extensive towards the end of this section. Continue straight ahead along the embankment. The next mile and a half along West Level Bank is much the same as before, and easily walked grassy embankment with ever-widening reed beds on the estuary side and large arable fields on the right. The village of Weston can be seen across the fields. There are very few landmarks on this section, the first being a group of small trees and soon after this there is a footbridge carrying a footpath (GR348188) across the fields and this is followed by a long straight stretch to some isolated small bushes and then some more substantial groups of bushes.
At this point the marshy area on the left starts to widen out seriously. The path continues along Weston Bank for about half a mile to reach Welwick Bank at some kind of marker stone for a lottery heritage funded project – the footpath off to the right leads to Welwick but continue straight ahead on the bank. The embankment becomes lower as it wanders a little through a bushy area and eventually flattens out completely along the edge of the marshland. Soon approach an embankment (went badly wrong here and headed off for the rather strange looking building to the right. This turned out to be the pumping station on Patrington Channel but unfortunately there was no way to cross the channel so had to retrace steps to this point).
Climb over the embankment and follow the path into an area of trees. After a hundred yards or so join a grassy farm track that goes between two fields. Follow the path as it swings right to reach a little stone bridge built in 1924. Use the bridge to cross the drainage channel. The track now goes through a rougher area of hawthorn bushes and brambles. At a crossroad of tracks carry on straight ahead – this is at Oxlands Hill (GR323200) just before the Greenwich Meridian line.
The wide grassy track continues between hawthorn bushes and brambles and the spire of Patrington church can be seen on the right. At the end of a very large field the path turns right and then left through a steel gate and on a path between two fields heading for some farm buildings. Pass to the left of East Growths Farm (GR311207) and continue down the farm road heading towards Patrington Haven which can be seen in front. At the road turn left and immediately on the left is the Burns Head Inn (GR306212). Stopped here for some lunch before going home. Tried to call taxi from phone box outside pub which didn’t seem to work so walked the mile or so to Patrington. Found it totally impossible to get a taxi so walked the six miles or so back over the fields to the estuary to retrace my steps to the car. Got very wet in the last half hour due to heavy rain.
Days from Chepstow 54
Miles today 7.6
Miles from Chepstow 743.4