As you probably know, since last March, we walk twice a week in the Surrey Hills. During our walks, we come upon various manmade or topographical features. There are many sudden deep hollows in the land, which I can imagine might be ‘sink holes’ from a time long past. Nature has reclaimed them and trees and brambles abound.
Sometimes we see concrete buildings that might have been some sort of lookout during the war, though it isn’t always obvious why they were placed where we see them.
One of the more obvious features we see are the dew ponds. These look as though they might have been built in the 1960s, but apparently they date from the 19th century. They are large round ponds, usually close to major paths, which one could imagine being filled with water. Some are in fact full of water still. (Sadly some have rubbish in like discarded coffee cups and sandwich wrappers).
They were apparently created for stock to be able to have water nearby. Looking at the height of the walls, they must have been for cattle, unless sheep were a lot taller or more adventurous in the past!
I could also envisage that they may have been a place from which farmers and stockmen could conveniently carry water to animals nearby.
Here’s a picture of one that we see regularly. We use it as a marker for the fact that it’s nearly time to stop for a coffee! So it’s a very welcome sight a couple of hours into our walk. You can see it’s at a cross-roads. I think the tracks you can see were probably made by ‘dirt bikers’ who we occasionally meet on the better surfaced paths around the North Downs Way.
We are immensely thankful that we can walk in these interesting and peaceful areas from home, without having to get the car out. It has helped us throughout lockdown, and with physical and mental health too. In the past 12 months the ability to plan and control at least one aspect of our lives has been so important, and we feel for those who have no garden, or walking options.
What a relief to think that as of next week there will be a little more that we are allowed to do, so long as we don’t immediately go into a third wave.
Keep safe, keep well, and hang on for the last few days of ‘stayathome’ lockdown 2.