Guided Centenary Walk 8th September 2018
Stakeholders and walkers were invited to join the Centenary Walk team on Saturday 8th September 2018 to walk the 12.5 miles (20.20kms) of the proposed circuit.
We met up outside Campus West at 9.00am and twenty of us set off into Sherrards Park Wood waved off by Jenny McCann secretary of the Centenary Foundation.
We took an anti clockwise direction leaving the wood to enter Brocket Hall Golf Club and follow the footpath to Lemsford Mill through the farm to cross the Great North Road and enter Stanborough Lakes. With no time to feed the ducks we pushed on to exit Stanborough under the railway bridge and towards Mill Green Museum and onto Mill Green Golf Course with friendly golfers waiting for us to pass through.
Then onto Gascoyne Cecil Estate land and over the river. No one got too wet and we were pleased to let people know that there are plans for a bridge to make the crossing less perilous!
On through the Commons Nature Reserve and we headed towards Panshanger following the edge of the aerodrome and crossing the B1000 to reach Tewin Bury Farm.
Despite the drizzly start the weather improved and the day was dry and warm. The group kept a steady pace led by David in the front, Diana in the middle and Colin at the rear making sure no one was left behind. Clare dashed back and forward taking the opportunity to add to her survey of waymarkers and posts adding I would think another 3 miles at least to her circuit! Jan joined us at Tewinbury Farm which was our well earned picnic stop. We were able to purchase hot drinks and were guided by friendly staff to a picnic area hidden away behind the wonderful gardens.
After rest and refreshment we set off with renewed energy to complete the circuit. Leaving Tewin Bury farm we traversed sweeping fields walking on the remains of a concrete path, though rather over grown now, that Italian WW2 Prisoners of War constructed leading from Tewin Bury Farm to Digswell.
passed under the Victorian viaduct that Queen Victoria opened, and on past the entrance to Digswell Lake and St John’s Disgwell Church and up the path lined with majestic ancient Sweet Chestnut trees that formed part of the Humphrey Repton landscape design for Disgwell House.
Fifteen of us happily arrived back at Six Ways in Sherrards Park Wood (the official start of the circuit) at 3.30pm as five who joined us at the start peeled off earlier due to other commitments which was very understandable!
It was a great opportunity to meet everyone, talk about the walk along the way and obtain feedback. It was also a good experience for the team to walk the circuit in one go as we are usually focusing on one area at a time.
Most importantly it was a fun day and we are very grateful to everyone who participated.
The Centenary Walk Team
Deb Kirby, Clare McIntyre, Jan Kitchin, Colin Bifield, David Harrison, Diana Walsh, Caroline Baynes
On the bridge in Brocket Park