Autumn afternoon walk over Long Valley

Long Valley an area of heathland and hills

Long Valley an area of heathland and hills

Dexter a rare breed of cattle

Dexter a rare breed of cattle

It was a cold night last night, I was told frost this morning, though I did not see it.

Lovely and sunny late morning. Very cold, but warm in the sun.

I decided a walk over Long Valley, but to do it different to the summer when had Sunday lunch at The Foresters, then go for a walk. Make the most of the afternoon sun, go for a walk, then return to The Foresters for lunch.

We parked across the road from The Foresters, a lot more cars than in the summer. From there we set off, a friend, two dogs and myself.

Long Valley is an area of heathland, heather, open pine and oak woodlands, heath grassland.

We encountered Dexter cattle, but little else.

I would have walked further that we did, but by time we got to the pub I was feeling very tired.

Last time I had excellent slow-roast, belly pork. I was looking forward to trying it again, but noticed they had a carvery (new for the last few weeks).

The pub was full, no dogs whilst full, so we decided to come back a little later.

We thought we would go for a walk along a footpath out the back of the pub. This turned out to be Velmead Common. Very cold walking in the shade through the pine woodland, but once we reached open grassland and into the sun, very pleasant.

Like Long Valley, Velmead Common is heathland.

Dexter Cattle are a rare breed. They are on Long Valley and Velmead Common (though did not see any) to maintain the biodiversity.

Very little of the landscape in England is natural, it is semi-natural, maintained by farming, It is industrial farming that destroys and poisons the landscape. Left to it own devices, Long Valley and Velmead Common would eventually be open heath woodland and lack the varied habitats that grazing creates.

Dexter cattle are small and stocky. Roughly the size and build of a pit pony.

Long Valley is located between Aldershot and Church Crookham.

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