Forster Country Landscape Forster Country Landscape 

Mud arrived with the autumn and winter rains and footpaths turned into quagmires. Even the path which slopes along the back of the Chancellors Park estate and should in theory be well drained, was sodden, as was the grassy field edge. Walking became a challenge, with boots sinking into mud and water and squelching as we pulled them out to take another step and gave serious consideration to the benefits of walking poles. A large pond appeared in the dip at the field edge adjacent to the Great North Road and our chairman is pictured (below) standing in it to give an idea of scale.

We all had our hearts in our mouths when it appeared that the farmer intended to leave several large fields (under threat of development) fallow, did this mean he knew something we didn’t? However, on a dull afternoon in early March, we returned from a walk to find that the fields in question were being planted, what a relief! A lady stopped to chat to us saying that she’d felt concerned at the empty fields, but that this sight had “put a spring in her step”.
The recent dry period means that Forster Country is again pleasant under foot. Blackthorn and pussy willow are making a brave showing in spite of the cold weather and the churchyard is again awash with primroses and violets. The countryside is still there for us to enjoy and we continue our fight to keep it so. I’m sure E M Forster would have been delighted that in the past year many more people have discovered his beloved Forster Country.