Photo of snowy Sussex woodland trail Photo of snowy Sussex woodland trail

Ponds and Serpents

I went for a short circuitous walk in the Lavington Plantation area yesterday morning. Always on the lookout for natural navigational treats, I was also secretly hoping to spot an adder – the area is known as a popular refuge for our island’s only poisonous snake. In fact there is even a marked walk known as ‘The Serpent Trail‘, thought by many to be named after its twists and turns, but actually in testimony to the reptiles that enjoy the mixture of sand and mud on its heathland.

The conditions were perfect, I could feel the summer heat rising up off the dust and sand and, had I been a snake myself, I would certainly have availed myself of the opportunity to do some serious basking. But sadly I met none and returned home without having dodged any venomous fangs, knowingly at least. the serpents trail

I did however come across a small stagnant pond that acted as a good compass. The water in its southwestern corner was clear, but in the northeastern end it was covered in a thick layer of dust, and fragments from broken twigs, leaves. The wind of the past week had marshalled all the particles floating on the surface into the leeward corner.