Somerset is one of the Ramblers’ Areas whose walk is held before the AGM, so it was an early start for me to be at Holford, on the edge of the Quantock Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, by 9.30am on Saturday 17 February. I made it, and the sun was shining. I had visited Somerset’s AGM last year too, in nearby Nether Stowey.
Led by Gerald Swayne, chair of West Somerset Group, we set off for Holford Combe, passing the church.
We walked alongside woodland where there are the ruins of silk mills. These are believed to date back to the sixteenth century and have been the subject of some controversy, with plans to develop them into workshops.
We passed the extensive village green
and headed up Holford Combe.
Soon we emerged on the sunny uplands of the Quantocks
and were rewarded by an excellent sighting of red deer.
The view to the north-north-east was of the Hinckley Point B nuclear-power station by the sea
and to the west, of Exmoor
We followed the bridleway to Halsway Post and then on to Bicknoller Post.
We returned via the Long Stone, hidden in the gorse.
We came over Longstone Hill where there is a clump of trees, a memorial to the men and women of Holford and Kilve who served in the second world war.
The view from there is lovely—pure Quantocks.
We returned past the entrance to Alfoxton Park (where William Wordsworth lived from 1797 to 1798) and noted the dog pound at its entrance.
The wording on the pound is:
Last year I wrote about how Somerset Area was struggling to find volunteers to serve as officers. This year it is in better heart. Les Stather has agreed to be chairman and Philip Bisatt from Taunton Deane Group has volunteered to be secretary. I warmly thanked the outgoing chairman, David Thompson, who has held the fort admirably for many years. Somerset Area has an immensely important job to do, ensuring that Somerset County Council and North Somerset Council carry out their legal duty on public paths.
It was encouraging to see the Area stepping forward with confidence, holding the torch for walkers.