So what if it was buried in 4ft Indian Balsam? I could see where the wheat ended and path should be and furthermore I could see the stile at the end. Jeans now soggy, I crossed the railway track and stile at the opposite side.
I could see that others had tried to go straight on where the map said but obviously no-one had been through for a few months... Balsam, bramles and hawthorn... I gave up - then changed my mind and went back - what's a bit of scrub? So I hacked through (not that bad really) noted a dyke and made a mental note to be careful and finally got through.
Once again a track to the right was clear but I was going left - between the Indian Balsam, meadow sweet and cereals. The landmarks were obvious: I was walking parallel to the railway embankment but noting the dykes amongst the dense vegetation I did wonder how sensible I was being....
I stubbornly continued and found the first footbridge exactly where it should be. Thank you LCC. And pushing through more shoulder height balsam, I found the second bridge then followed the farmer's 'tram line' across the wheat to arrive on the gravel track leading back to my car.
So was it worth getting soggy? I think it will be a great winter walk when the vegetation has died down. And I did get a sense of achievement at apparently being the only person to have got through for several months!
Sightings included yellow hammer, lots of whitethroat, linnet, pipit, lark, reed bunting, swift, swallow, house martin, a buzzard, red-legged partridge and other common species.
Photo of yellow hammer by Rick Spencer.
Indian Balsam from www.gccv.org.uk/