A few days ago I posted about a great new wild camping spot I’d happened open while trawling the local countryside. Last night was perfect for some no tent wild camping, so armed with a large bottle of water, a radio, some alcoholic beverages and a huge pack of peanuts, I headed off for what I thought was going to be a night out in some beautiful woodland, oh man how wrong was I 🙂

All was going well as I made my way up an old ‘B’ road passing through some very pretty (but ultimately boring) villages on the route, to the point where I could enter the woodland (pictured below).

woodland public footpath

The Footpath I Should Have Been On, I Think 🙂

The entrance I used from the main road had seen a lot of action recently with new growth ferns trod on and had a well used path heading off into the wood. Having seen what looked like an old tractor torn up track on an earlier walk, I headed for that to save struggling through a mile (or so) of messy woodland.

Its my standard practice when trying to find a wild camping spot to stop every now and then for a listen. Apart from telling if anybody else is around, its also a good way of avoiding any properties that might be dotted about.

It was during one of these listening moments that I heard something large making its way through the woodland. The cracking of sticks told me its was something much bigger than the few Roe Deer I’d seen bouncing about and as I’d not seen any cattle on this land, decided to stay put behind a clump of trees and see what happened.

Enter Jay and Silent Bob

As the unknown got closer, the sound of whispering became clear and at first I thought it was someone talking to a dog but then I could make out two distinct voices?

OK, so two people were heading my way but why the hell were they whispering?, a little initial panic set in as its not the first time I’ve had grief while out walking and it was obvious they were heading straight for my hiding place!

Left with the choice of confronting the issue or looking like a total weirdo when they finally walked around the trees and found me just stood there, I decided to play the dumb card, tough it out and walked from behind the trees to the sight of two elderly gents with hunting rifles who I nicknamed Jay and Silent Bob.

Oh shit I thought, people with guns is never a good sign!

Here’s how the encounter went…..

Me : Hello Chaps

Jay and Silent Bob : Stunned and slightly confused expressions, probably disappointed they couldn’t shoot me 🙂

At this point I carried on walking, hoping to just move out of this problem, fat chance

Jay : Excuse me, but you should be on the footpath

Me : Stopped, turned, pulled the dumbest face I could manage, looked at silent Bob and said “there’s a footpath?”. Silent Bob refuses to talk.

Jay : Yes

Me : OK

Tried to walk away again but Jay was having none of it.

Jay : You need to be on the footpath as we are stalking with rifles.

I look at the guns as if its the first time I’ve noticed them and silent Bob makes his play through the art of mime by touching the butt of his gun.

Me : Oh I see, is this private land?

Jay : Yes it is

Me : Right then where’s the footpath?

Jay preceded to give me directions to the track that would take me out of the area and back onto the lane that bought me here in the first place.

Thanking them both for their help, I started off towards the only safe place to walk in this shooting range.

What was funny during this short encounter was that Jay was still talking just above a whisper, in the hope that all the little Roe Deer hadn’t been spooked by my presence.

I like meat probably more than the average human but also think that animals should be giving a sporting chance, so waited till I was about twenty foot away before turning back and shouting at the top of my voice “cheers, wouldn’t want to get accidentally shot”, Silent Bob still said nothing 🙂

To be totally honest, if I had any idea that there was shooting going on, I would have avoided the area like the plague.

Its Not a Total Loss

First had the idea of heading back home but I was all set for a night out and after making my way out of the wood I found myself close to Coughton Court with all the beautiful countryside that surrounds it.

Had a nice quiet night tucked up under a few Oak trees without the fear of getting mistaking for a deer and shot (its happened before).

coughton court woodland

The Cracking Countryside Around Coughton Court

Walking in Haydon Way Woodland

The Walk Home Through Haydon Ways New Woodland

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