Walk 2: Alpacas, trout.. and maybe a water vole

water vole                      A water vole                                                                        Picture: Dluogs, Flickr                                                                                                    

This walk is between two and three miles and can be done in about an hour.

- Starting at the parish hall facing the church, turn left and head down the signposted footpath that runs alongside the Mill Race. Trout can sometimes be seen in this small river, along with redds - gravel nests used during the winter months for laying eggs. 

- At the end of the paved path, turn right on a gravel track and continue alongside the river. Mill Meadow Farm lies on the far side of the river, and alpacas can be seen in their fields through the gaps in the hedgerow.

 - The path curves up to a bridge going across the A27. Cross the bridge and continue following the main path round to the right, passing Lumley Hill Farm and Lumley Mill. Eventually you join a tarmacked road; continue straight along it. 

- Opposite The Rookery cul-de-sac, take the second of two paths leading off to the right. Turn left onto a larger track and continue along it skirting Peter Pond until you reach Main Road. Turn left passing the sign into West Sussex, then cross the road at the traffic island into Queen Street, where you can break for a drink and a snack at the Lord Raglan. 

- Upon finishing at the pub, return to the bottom of Queen Street and turn left, following a path down to an underpass. On the other side of the underpass, head straight down through the gate into Brook Meadow. 

- Head through the meadow until you reach an intersection on a rise next to a bench. Turn left here and follow the path alongside the stream. You can see many types of flora and fauna as you proceed, including many different types of willows and wildflowers, robins, blackbirds and herons. Water voles, an endangered species, have also been known to make their homes here. In fact, Greening Westbourne are currently undertaking a survey to establish the how far upstream water voles many have ventured. 

   - When you come to a bridge over the stream, cross it, making note of the memorial plaque on the right hand barrier. On the far side of the bridge, exit through a kissing gate and turn right. Continue along this path, under another underpass, and through a gate into a cow field. 

- From here you should be able to see the spire of Westbourne church in the distance. Follow the path across the field towards it. At the far end there is a gate on the left hand side, take it and turn right to Westbourne Road, then right again to head back to the parish hall.