Pocket Number 8: Alpacas by the Chiltern Cycleway, Pirton

To get directions to the alpacas I dropped into Pirton’s pub ‘The Motte and Bailey’, so named as there’s a motte and bailey nearby, behind the pub.

The first man I spoke to by the pub’s bar knew the whereabouts of the alpacas. I followed his instructions and found the start of the lane leading toward them. It began, as all good lanes do, in an unassuming way.

The lane was striking chalk white with deep shadows thrown over it by the hawthorn, sloe and plum trees clothing the banks. It was early April and sunlight still reached down through the canopy to encourage the blossoming of lesser celandine and violets. The white path winds this way and that in pleasing meander up the chalk downs to afford sweeping views over green and yellow fields of wheat and rapeseed.

Not too far along the lane and there’s a gap in the herbage and foliage which affords a look into a field populated with alpacas, chickens and pigs. I also saw a black squirrel in that field!

I googled and read black squirrels do exist in England and are proliferating in Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire.

At a prominent, shaded spot at the top of the ridge I met a mum, daughter and son (they wanted to be anonymous) and their pug, Yugo. They were taking a rest while enjoying the views.

I told them about [25] Pockets of [Luton]. They said they weren’t familiar with Luton and lived in Stevenage.

The daughter sent me to Oughtonhead Common Nature Reserve. She told me to have a walk along the river and see the longhorns grazing on the common there. She showed me pictures of the path and the cows on her smartphone.

For the montage I got a purple doggy bag to capture Yugo’s walk-time indiscretions.

Pocket Number 9: Liam and Morgan and longhorns at Oughtonhead Common Nature Reserve >>

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