So my final walk - in the rain - was at Micheldever Woods, north of Winchester. This is a large beech woodland owned by the Forestry Commission, particularly famed for its bluebells. Obviously, not the right time for year for that, but given how much rain we've been having, we thought the broad forest tracks would be less muddy for walking.
With my hobbling, we only had about an hour's walk - I was surprised to see so much archaeology, including an Iron Age banjo enclosure, and Bronze Age long barrow. The woodland is not particularly ancient in terms of the age of trees, but the site has been used by humans for thousands of years, which has altered the plants found here. The open forest floor due to the younger beeches, lets in enough light for the bluebell carpets later in the year, and makes for safe grazing habitat for various species of deer. We spotted a muntjac running across in front of us - if you haven't seen one before, it could easily be mistaken for a dog, as it's about that size, but obviously if you get a good look at it, it's plainly not! They're introduced from Asia, as with several other species of deer in our country. With no natural predators, deer in the UK can cause significant issues in woodlands, nibbling new shoots and saplings, and the Forestry Commission cull in some of their woodlands to maintain the habitat.
This walk was completed a few weeks ago, and since then I've been trying to be good and rest the foot. Although, I'm off skiing next week, so no doubt I'll be back limping again!