Text and pics contributed by Simon
Finally, a lovely summer day, and Paul led a great walk from Manningtree train station along a route of eleven-ish miles through the Stour Valley towards Dedham and Stratford-St-Mary – one that featured many horses, cows and sheep (more about the sheep later).
Miriam invited us to Old Hall for tea and delicious cake.
The biggest drama of the day happened towards the end of the walk. Two stray sheep wandered onto a narrow section of the path in front of us. We tried in vain to get them to go into a suitable field. They were getting worryingly close to Manningtree train station – something had to done. We needed a sheep dog, but fortunately we had the next best thing… Julian. He went into a field next to the path and crept past the sheep – emerging ahead of them. He then drove the sheep down the path towards us.
The sheep were now behind us, but there was no guarantee that they would keep going in the right direction back to their field. Marie then had the bright idea of telling the nearby farmer about the strays. He told us they weren’t his sheep but he would contact the owner.
The sheep were now someone else’s problem and we could continue with a clear conscience.
It had been a great walk on a bright sunny day. Many thanks to Paul and Clare.