Beyond Boughton Malherbe – Greensand Way

On the 3rd of April we were legally allowed to catch up with relatives and get out for a walk.

The warm sunshine of Good Friday had morphed into a chilly easterly wind, replete with grey skies.

This was planned as my second to last stage of the Greensand Way.

After meeting at Egerton in the east we looped back to the starting point in Sutton Valence.

Apart from the delight of finding an open “Ladies” in the village hall the other noticeable feature was the enormous Sutton Valence School sitting atop the Greensand Ridge, with far reaching views to the south.

A short distance further on I plotted the correct course (despite a lack of signage) and we ambled along with a stop to consider the weird almost torpedo shaped grave stones in the cemetery at Chartway Street.

We were then surprised to find East Sutton Park Prison a few hundred yards further on, which is both an open prison for young offenders and women over 18 years of age.

We couldn’t see much, but of all the prisons I’ve been in, this looked about as pleasant as Channings Wood down in Denbury, Devon.

If only more folk could find the time and opportunity to visit these establishments I think they’d be surprised at the people inside.

In my experience a large proportion of the inmates are pleasant folk, who have had precious few opportunities in life and started out in the most hostile environments.

What a shame that the prison populations are bursting, whilst so many of our churches remain empty.

Maybe my prison stories can be told another day, with names changed?

In this photo we’ve already covered a few miles, and are heading towards a wood with some of the first bluebells I’ve seen this year.

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