As well as loving walking, I also love painting and drawing. And with a teleconference cancelled on Thursday, I had the opportunity to take the afternoon off and head up to (where else?) Martin Down for a spot of sketching.
It was a lovely sunny afternoon, and quite mild - Spring is in the air! I decided to head across the reserve, up to Pentridge Down. Rising above Martin Down, you are rewarded for your climb with stunning views across the reserve and beyond to surrounding villages and the sweeping landscape of Cranborne Chase. I didn't quite make it to the top of Penbury Knoll (a hill fort and 185m high) as I wanted to have some time sketching - there is an amazing rusty old harrow (for raking the fields) that forms a brilliant foreground.
The return trip was very muddy, but I really hate walks where you retrace your steps - better to have a muddy circular route! Arriving back at the carpark, and with very little wildlife spotted en route, I heard my first yellow hammer of the year, warming up for the busy few weeks ahead. I can't wait for everywhere to burst into life.