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  • Oakleafe Rambling Club aims to provide a full programme of Walking with Company through some of the best parts of south-east England.   Our main bases for activities are to be found in the North & South Downs, with the Weald in between.
  • Oakleafe offers a Walking Fellowship in TWO COUNTIES, to generally explore areas of East Sussex and east of Surrey.  We do regularly venture into the west of Kent; & sometimes further afield (West Sussex; Dorset; Suffolk; & Norfolk have all been visited in recent years). 
  • Oakleafe offers a variety of Groups for RAMBLERS and/or NORDIC WALKERS.
  • Our specialisation for most events :     HALF-DAY EVENTS
  • AND ~~>   FRIENDLY DOGS are very welcome on RAMBLES ~ but, with owners usually on a lead. Starting soon in East Sussex ~ a weekly WALKIES4Dog-Walkers event on most Saturday mornings.  Briefings for these will be by our new WHATSAPP specific group or similar using facebook Messenger only.  We will NOT be issuing email briefings.  About 8 folk now signed in for the combination of those two interest-groups.  These events will be typically 3 to 4 miles long and either in Friston Forest, Abbots Wood (Arlington), Park Wood (Hellingly) OR occasionally on Ashdown Forest or Pevensey Beach; OR by either the Cuckmere River or River Ouse.


Site Editing Summary :

Our Latest Site Update was undertaken
                           ~ TUESDAY 22nd MAY
2018
With thanks, as temporary access has been facilitated by domain hosting agency to edit website pending completion of their system migration to new platform(s).  The whole of our Club website will probably take on a complete new look soon, with better accessibility from mobile and tablets ~ (although we keep being given conflicting advice on that)... and a whole new web-build system running it ~ that is IF I can learn how to use it all by early June (6th June) and possibly transfer the relevant sections into new format. 
Wish me luck ~ it is not in the least straightforward!

My 2018 Challenge (just the one) :
#walk1000miles with Country Walking Magazine : I aim to walk 1000 miles in total in the year BUT exclusively for :
our Club events and researches for same; together with walking with private clients.  As at 30th April I am just over 302-miles into my 2018-Challenge.
I will soon be setting up a new JustGiving page for fundraising towards St Wilfrid's Hospice again, in the process.

 
OAKLEAFE GROUP PROGRAMMES
Simplified to only show EVENT(s) coming up shortly as follows, by Group & date :
 

  • SURREY :  Caterham U3A Guided RAMBLE/NW weekly on Monday mornings
    The Scheduled Events currently :

       Monday 28th May is a BANK HOLIDAY MONDAY ... and we offer another Knole Place and Parklands ramble from the main Knole Place NT car park, with hope of a light lunch from their cafeteria at the end of the walk (being a Bank Holiday ~ pot luck time, anywhere).
       Monday 4th June ... from THE FOUNTAIN at COWDEN, to south of Edenbridge (booked in).
       Monday 11th June ... from THE RED LION at Chelwood Vachery onto Ashdown Forest.
       Monday 18th June ... from THE OLD EDEN at Edenbridge
       Monday 25th June ... from THE PLOUGH at Coldharbour for Leith Hill
       Monday 2nd July ... from THE BULL on Chelsham Common near Warlingham
       Monday 9th July ... from THE ANCHOR at WISLEY by Pyrford Lock on the River Wey ... for our annual Riverside Ramble.

  • SURREY SATURDAY AFTERNOON RAMBLES (usually fortnightly)
       The Scheduled Events currently :
       Saturday 2nd June ~ from Crawley Down for a walk on the Worth Way long distance path and cycle route
       Saturday 16th June ~ from the OLD EDEN at Edenbridge
       Saturday 30th June ~ a ramble around Bough Beech Reservoir from the causeway on the northern section of the Reservoir.  Hopefully some tea/refreshment afterwards at the Reservoir's Kentish Wildlife Visitor Centre
       Saturday 14th July ~ from Botley Hill for Red Kites over the North Downs
       Saturday 28th July ~ from Carpenters Arms on Limpsfield Chart

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  • EAST SUSSEX FRIDAY MORNING RAMBLE events  :
      FRIDAY MORNING RAMBLE event : Friday 1st June : into Park Wood between Hellingly and Cowbeech ~ parking in the woodland car park on the Hellingly side of the wood.
      FRIDAY MORNING RAMBLE event : Friday 6th July : from the Sharnfold Farm between Glyndley, Hankham and Stone Cross 
      FRIDAY MORNING RAMBLE event : Friday 3rd August : from the Long Man public car park, by The Street in Wilmington

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  • EAST SUSSEX WEEKEND GUIDED RAMBLE  :
         WEEKEND afternoon RAMBLE Series : Sunday 27th May : from Southease to Itford Hill, south to South Heighton and then back along the Ouse riverside.  A longer ramble, BUT with TEA afterwards at THE COURTYARD CAFE of the Southease YHA
         WEEKEND afternoon RAMBLE Series : Saturday 23rd June : from Middle Farm area, with tea nearby to our cars at the finish of the event
         WEEKEND afternoon RAMBLE Series : Sunday 21st July : from Crowlink NT car park


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  • SPECIAL EXTENDED LENGTH RAMBLES either THREE-QUARTER DAY or DAYWALKS :

      SPECIAL EVENTS programmes for the 2018 season

    On late Spring Bank Holiday Monday ~ for Monday 28th May we are offering a morning ramble setting out at 10:30am in the parklands of Knole Place ... starting from the main NT car park near the house.  We have a hope there of securing a light lunch from the NT cafeteria at the end of our walk (being a Bank Holiday means that it is pot luck anywhere)

    Our MAY to SEPTEMBER series for 2018 :
    Our Series Theme for 2018 will be 'WALKING ... SUSSEX CASTLES'
    Walk 1 was on 20th May : As we walked from HERSTMONCEUX to BATTLE
    (12-miles; 1224 feet) ;
    Our Walk 2 will be on 17th June : BATTLE to HASTINGS (13.5-miles; 1260 feet : lunch in pub at Three Oaks)  
    Walk 3 on 22nd July: HASTINGS to RYE (12.1-miles; 1465 feet; a Picnic lunch in the Fairlight to Pett area).  With luck we may conclude here with a tea at FLETCHERS TEAROOMS
    Walk 4 on 12th August : RYE to BODIAM (12-miles; 885 feet) ~ researches in progress fro this section ; and
    Walk 5 on 16th September THE FINALE : BODIAM to WADHURST via part of the edge of BEWL WATER RESERVOIR.

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  • EAST SUSSEX Guided WEEKEND NORDIC WALK EVENTS  :
       Saturday afternoon 9th June ~ from Jevington
       Saturday afternoon 7th July ~ from Hellingly for Park Wood
     
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  • EAST SUSSEX Guided WEEKDAY NORDIC WALKS  :
       Friday morning 15th June : from Old Bishopstone into Poverty Bottom
       Friday morning 20th July : from Firle upper car park

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  • EAST SUSSEX (WEEKDAY) EVENING NORDIC FITNESS Series
    After Seven seasons on a WEDNESDAY evening, for 2018 we have now changed to TUESDAY evenings : Series resumed from 17th April 2018.
       TUESDAY EVENING NORDIC FITNESS event : 22nd May 2018 : from Lewes
       TUESDAY EVENING NORDIC FITNESS event : 29th May 2018 : from Cooden Beach or Bexhill seafront
       TUESDAY EVENING NORDIC FITNESS event : 5th June 2018 : from Chyngton Way, Seaford for a Cuckmere Haven Adventure
       TUESDAY EVENING NORDIC FITNESS event : 12th June 2018 : on Beachy Head
       TUESDAY EVENING NORDIC FITNESS event : 19th June 2018 : from Hailsham for Cuckoo Trail
       TUESDAY EVENING NORDIC FITNESS event : 26th June 2018 : from Milton Street
       TUESDAY EVENING NORDIC FITNESS event : 3rd July 2018 : from Arlington's YEW TREE 
     


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  • CLUB LONG WEEKENDER in DORSET on the ISLE of PURBECK ~ staying near Swanage at the very end of September.  For more information ... check near the bottom of this webpage to see the dates and booking details as circulated by email. 
    15 places plus Nigel leading and his wife.  5 of 15 so far taken up. 
    NOTE :  Only one room now available for those who wish to bring a dog to stay in ASH LODGE

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This information is included, sometimes with additional detail if time permits, under the appropriate County EVENTS TAB.

We would encourage you to register with our database for the specific location (County); timing (weekend/weekday etc); and type of event that interest you (Rambling/Nordic/Cycling).


Our email Briefings are sent around to those members in the relevant Group database ~ usually about 24 to 36 hours BEFORE THE EVENT. 
NOTE : At the start of 2017 we completed our OPT-IN refresher for email addresses to be used, so that we have ensured as far as possible, only individual email addresses that WANT to receive briefings from the Club do get them currently.  We now issue our briefings only via the MailChimp servers on our behalf, and they hold the physical database for individual groups.  Opening records and bounces are all noted carefully on that system.  Do make sure that our email address is listed on your Address book, and check the SPAM or PROMOTIONS or similar other 'Inbox'-folders, in case emails are ending up in there.  Do then MOVE them into the appropriate inbox!  Hopefully your system will then recognise us as a Safe Sender (gradually!).  From 1st January we have ONLY been using the new 2017/18 database versions for each Group ~ so if you are not receiving briefings that you are used to seeing, you DO NEED to email us to opt-in!!

Do check the page footer final note relating to updating time-details, found below our Copyright Notice for each page.
 

NOTE :
If you usually receive an email for a specific group and suddenly you have not heard from the Club for a while, please do let us know!! 

TEXT to 07930 738034 to request a briefing by mobile ~ if available


Some Pictures recording aspects of recent EVENTS









Last Ramble of 2016 ~ an Iconic View as we explored Cuckmere Haven and Seaford Head

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... and from the same walk ~ a different perspective to view the Seven Sisters in perfect conditions
Nordic Walking in the Ouse river valley








WELL-BEHAVED DOGS ~ are Welcome on Oakleafe Rambles
generally with their owners on a lead



HERE WE HAVE :  ARCHIE ON LEFT, AND SAM, with Nigel, our Walk Leader. 
This image taken during the Norfolk Long Weekend of October 2015 ~ with thanks to Barbara Wheeler for providing many great Group photographs ... to remind folk of the events.
  • As a Rambling Club we are perhaps unusual in welcoming well-behaved dogs on our RAMBLE events : with Owners ... usually on a lead.   Or, was that "Dogs on a lead with Well-Behaved Owners ..."?

    It is unfortunately the case for Nordic Walking that dogs and poles rarely mix well, however ~ unless you are walking alone AND if your dog learns to either walk immediately behind or straight in front!!
     
  • Please note, HOWEVER, that we cannot guarantee assistance to get a dog across a stile.


Getting Started  ~ 
Booking In & Meeting Times :


 
BOOKING IN is IMPORTANT ~ here is why :




 

  • Please DO contact us in advance to participate in an event. 
    In this way we can ensure that you are emailed with the most up-to-date briefing information :   AND, we can judge how best to make any changes or notify same in the event of need to adjust or cancel an event (through bad weather/illness/or very low uptake to participate).
  • If you have booked in and we have received your Text or eMail, then we will respond to confirm receipt, so that ... you know that we know !! 
  • Occasionally texts take a time to reach us, living as we do in the Cuckmere Valley within South Downs. 
    The longest delay we have known has been nearly 24 hours ... which could make some bookings VERY late indeed for us getting to the start or when deciding about the viability of a particular event. 
  • Event-viability :
    ... as long as there is a single booking, then we will go ahead with the event ~ usually :  although some of those at longer range do make this difficult to always follow.  Having done the research for an event, and prepared website pages, images etc, and issued an email briefing ~  the one thing that we hate doing is to cancel the event itself.


MEETING TIMES
Unless otherwise stated in our email or web-Briefing pages :
 

  • MORNING WALKS generally start at 10 am, meeting at 9:55am ~ ahead of the walk start.  
    BUT : U3A events in East of Surrey usually meet at 09:45, hopefully allowing sufficient time for any refreshment pre-ordering process!
  • AFTERNOON Walks generally start at 2pm, meeting about 1:55pm, just ahead of the walk start
  • EAST SUSSEX NORDIC-FITNESS EVENTS, which start at 7pm ~ meeting 18:55 unless otherwise included in our Briefing later in the season (as in last event or two may start at 18:30).


EVENT SUBSCRIPTIONS (pay per walk)
 

  • OAKLEAFE is a "Pay-when-you-walk" Club ~ without any Joining Fee or annual Membership Subscription. 
    This is how the Club has developed and grown through the last 13 to 14 years.  We have sincerely tried to maintain the walk event subscriptions at a low level, where we can meet overheads whilst maintaining accessibility for all.
     
  • The event-subscriptions to participate in Oakleafe Club walking events are set to meet costs arising through :
          compiling the event briefings;
          event planning & particularly for previewing new walk sections; and
          the costs of this website & maintenance thereof, together with our presence
                through other web outlets (walk4life; facebook; plotaroute; U3A website
                and so on).
     
  • OUR GUIDED EVENT PRICING : simplified from start of 2015 and still valid through season 2017/18 :  now standardised generally across our activities, as between Ramble and Nordic events.

        ALL HALF DAY events, be they Rambling or Nordic
    have a standard subscription of £5 per person per event.

        All DAYWALKS will be £10 for the whole day, per person per event.

       We do offer an occasional "three-quarter" day event
    where the location or the route demands something extra ~ these will be £7.50 per person per event. 

    Loan of Nordic Walk poles will stay at a £2 charge per single event for use of a pair of our loan poles.  Poles from the Loan Pole Bag are occasionally available for sale.


Our Programme of Walking Events ~ finding out more :
A very basic list of immediate events (one from each general series) is included near the top of this HOME page.

  • Please use the Contact Form to be found under the  CONTACT US Tab (top left of page) ~ for more information or to receive our emailed Walk Briefings.  However, before you do so, please do explore on this site further, including the ABOUT Oakleafe section.  We have included a precis of much information on this HOME page, but there it is expanded.
     
  • Finding our more about the Club, our ways and briefing materials, or just new to walking : have a look through the TAB (top left on this page) ABOUT Oakleafe
    The first page that opens is long and has lots more information, so do skim through.  Hopefully you will find the answer to any immediate questions there. 
    Alternatively, if you still cannot find the answer you are seeking, use the CONTACT FORM to be found by from the CONTACT US Tab and we will do our best to answer fully for you. 
    ALSO : Under the About OAKLEAFE Tab you will also find a tab that covers Walking gear, shoes/boots, refreshment and general Safety on walks.  Please do read this.
     
     
  • Follow the NEW County-led Event Listings (see the TABS on top left of this page), separating there between Guided Rambles and Nordic events ~ to find out more about what is coming up.

    Full event briefings are NOT now incorporated on the website, but are emailed out individually to our Club Members who have opted-in to participate in a specific Group. 
    The last refresh of the OPT-IN process for eMail Groups was issued by email during December 2016 to all of those then on the Groups Database accounts.  If you did NOT respond to be included in the 2017/18 mailings database, and have stopped receiving mails from the Club, then do please use the CONTACT FORM from the website or email the Club at the usual address ... requesting to be included.  You will not have receive any mailings after end of 2016 if you do not OPT IN.

    eMail Briefings are now issued for us using MailChimp, and are sent out typically from about 24 to 48 hours ahead of an event taking place, all being well.   These briefings are only put out close to an event, so that we can first plan and amend having reviewed weather forecasts. 
    We do try very hard to keep the database for each Group up-to-date, so if you wish to stop the mailings, please do UNSUBSCRIBE using the link provided with each mailing.

     


OAKLEAFE Events and our SPECIAL EVENTS programme 2018

  • Our overall Club Programme is usually now scheduled from 3 to 6 months ahead ~ where possible.  

    Event dates on our Plan may yet be changed due to weather, changes at the venue etc : and you will find more information under the tabs  :
      E.SUSSEX EVENTS   or
      E.SURREY EVENTS
    ... to the top left of this HOME page, especially if you then follow right through the Menu to locate a specific type of event.
     
     
  • We do try to keep each series of events unique, and few walks are direct repetitions of those already done.   We try to add some new event each season for variety and as we gradually expand the wider area where we have a good understanding of the topography and pathways.

    The biggest struggle we have found during recent seasons (2016 & 17) is the reducing number of suitable pub venues for those that include lunchtime refreshments!  This is most especially true in the Surrey area and for our U3A events ~ where we usually try to locate the events not only in areas for the excellent range of walking routes, but also the quality of the subsequent lunch.  Many pubs have closed completely; others changed in such a way that they are no longer suitable, or indeed open for meals (especially it seems as more are closing for food or completely on a Monday).
     
    Do let us know what YOU would like to see included.
     
  • Our CLUB LONG WEEKENDER 2018 in DORSET ~ staying on the Isle of PURBECK

    DATES :  Friday 28th September to and including Monday 1st October 2018
    THE VENUE :   We have 4 Timber Lodges provisionally reserved for us at HERSTON PARK in Washpond Lane, Herston near Swanage.  The Lodges offer truly Luxury Accommodation.
    Our briefing was issued to all club members on the email Lists (over 270 recipients, allowing for several duplications with recipients on more than one database group) on Wednesday 28th March 2018.
    We have a total of 15 places available at maximum ot participate (plus Nigel & his wife, Carole).  Thus far 5 of the 15 places have been taken
    ~ and we now only have one room left in the timber lodge where Dogs are allowed to stay as well.

MORE INFORMATION REGARDING THE DORSET WEEKEND THIS AUTUMN :


The Club has a provisional reservation now for FOUR (4) Log Cabins or Lodges at a venue close to Swanage in Dorset. 

Our reserved dates are : three nights from Friday 28th September to and including Monday morning 1st October 2018.

We have one Lodge where dogs are allowed with those staying there (ASH LODGE) ~ so spaces are limited for folk wishing to bring their 4-legged companions (only one room left).  Nigel & Carole will be in this Lodge with ISLA.

Each lodge can accommodate UP TO 7 individuals (but that includes either room sharing or double rooms for couples).  There is a Master double in each Lodge, with en-suite; and then two other bedrooms in each Lodge.  Each lodge has either two singles or a double bed in a second bedroom; and a third room with one single bed and a single two-level bunk as well

These Lodges are luxurious and we have now been using them with a variety of groups usually up to twice a year since 2010.  The cream on the top is the Hot Tub on the outside deck.  These are a real treat after a walk, and still excellent in conditions of light rain and snow ... each of which I have personally experienced.

We have costed the accommodation below to generally allow for single occupancy in the second and third rooms in each lodge.  Thus, Accommodation and Walk leadership for the four days of walking (two daywalks plus Friday afternoon and the Monday morning) at £195 per person.

Breakfasts locally at the Mess Room on Herston Park ~ a bespoke buffet breakfast for the Club members would be about £9 per person per day.
Other meals will be booked specifically to the areas where we are walking, covering lunches and suppers.  A cash-spend budget for the 4 days would be approx £140 per person (excluding travel to and from Dorset and also bar drinks, but covering meals, steam rail etc. and very variable depending on pub and restaurant meal selections)
On the Sunday evening we have a provisional booking at La Trattoria restaurant in the centre of Swanage.  We also have a booking at The Greyhound pub in Corfe for our Monday lunch ... and that would usually be followed by a Steam Rail journey back from Corfe to Herston Halt before driving home (rail fares typically about £7 to £8 per person).

We now have a very wide range of walks plotted and walked with various groups in earlier years (including in snows in March 2018) in the Isle of Purbeck area, ranging from the Corfe ridge, Old Harry Rocks, Studland Heath and Beach; The Jurassic Coastal Path between Durlston, Chapmans Pool and west towards Kimmeridge and Lulworth; plus (recently added) the Arne RSPB nature reserve adjacent to Poole Harbour ... plus the Stoborough and Wareham areas including the town walls of the latter.

The likely Booking Deposit ... to be called in shortly after sorting out our booking numbers and adjusting our commitment to the lodges ... will be around £75 per person.


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From MAY to SEPTEMBER, our annual Club Daywalk Project Series for 2018


Our Club Daywalk Project in 5 parts ~ 'WALKING ... SUSSEX CASTLES' ~ our theme for the 2018 season.

Our MAY to SEPTEMBER series dates and locations are included above.

Our series concludes usually with a special tea at a suitable venue, and members who have walked each of the 5 events in the season will receive a Completion Certificate (usually from 50 to 60 miles walked) and those who have completed 3 or 4 sections will receive Participation Certificates.

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RECEIVE WALK BRIEFINGS by e-MAIL

  • Please contact us to receive our E-mailed Walk briefings.
     
  • SPRING-CLEANING : We last reviewed the OPT-IN status for our groups' database records between December 2014 and January 2015, and so, during November/December 2016, we did seek fresh OPT-IN commitments from our group Members ready for 2017/18 ... that new database is NOW IN USE.

    We do need to renew this status regularly (we undertake a complete overhaul every 2 years, typically) to validate those who receive emails from us
     
    The email briefing campaign documents are handled for us by MailChimp, but come out from the usual email account that you are used to. 
    The database for each group (clearly stated which one and your terms of joining) is now securely held by MailChimp ~ we handle directly the OPT-IN invitations each time, however.

    If you are on the database and do NOT open the mails at least occasionally as they arrive, then this is monitored by MailChimp and in due course (and without warning to us) your inclusion in the database will ultimately be 'spring-cleaned' away. 

  • If you are contacting us to request being included in mailing lists to hear about our events, please say which specific events and/or Groups activities you would like to hear about in the future, AND whether you are based in East Sussex or Surrey.
    Very soon we will have direct links to apply to join the database relevant for each group ~ by county, walking style and between weekdays and weekends
     
  • We now plan and monitor our walking events using the VIEW RANGER app that bases its mapping in OS Pathfinder series.  Nigel is registered with View Ranger as Walk Leader :  with a bit of care it is possible for us to take the routes that we have done and make them available to our members through that app, as well (they are 33 map credits as the minimum amount that View Ranger will accept (about 7 pence currently)


Nigel tracked all of his walking activities through 2016, against the ViewRanger 1000-mile Gold Challenge 2016, based on their app. for smartphone GPS/OS Pathfinder.  Having completed the base challenge in mid-July, he continued to record walking activity.  His final target for the year 2016 was 2500 miles walked in the year ~ reached on 27th December ~ finishing in 4th place overall at that point  (international schedule).  That is equivalent to walking John O'Groats to Lands End ... and back ... with a little bit to spare to get back part of the way!

Nigel signed up for the ViewRanger 1500-mile Walking Challenge for 2017, but putting with that also their 1500-mile Cycling Challenge.  He has a JustGiving page so that if you wish to support Nigel's effort in these challenges, we are raising money through the year for St Wilfrid's Hospice in Eastbourne ~ details are posted in the heading area of this page ~ as well as via our newly resurrected Oakleafe East Sussex Walking facebook page.    Simple donations for the Hospice, rather than fractions of a penny per mile!!  Have put a goal on rising at least £1500 for St Wilfrid's Hospice through the year.  AS at middle November : 1400-miles completed both for WALKING & for CYCLING.

Already signed up for a 1000-walk challenge in 2018; as have at least two toehr members of the Club so far ~ and in most cases using that effort as a charity fund-raising venture of some sort.

 

Job Done ~ the ViewRanger challenge leaderboard from 2016 when Nigel  (WALK LEADER) completed his personal 2500-mile Challenge Distance for the year ~ as at 27th December 2016. 

Over 180 walkers completed the 1000-mile distance

Local Bird Life Sightings ~ www.birdax.com

Sightings recorded generally in areas of our walking events and around our East Sussex base in particular :
Year List as commencing from 1st January 2017 and recorded with BIRD@X website (www.birdax.com) ~ currently at 39 species recorded. 
Last Year ~ from 1st January to end of December 2016 we recorded 123 species in the local areas, including walking trips to east of Surrey, and two trips to Dorset with walkers. 
 

BIRD@X records access point


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  • 1st January to 31st December 2016, inclusive : 993 visitors
  • 1st January to 31st December 2017, inclusive : 1105 visitors

                          Site Counter reset 1st JANUARY 2018 :

 
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