Podcast 9 : Folly Wood and the Headless Horseman


An episode of mystery, intrigue and colourful characters. After all it wouldn’t be Hidden Wiltshire without at least one of these elements and we have all three!


We begin with a chat about what we’ve been up to in the last two weeks since the previous episode. Glyn’s excited about his discovery of a new bottom, and an old coffin trail to Steeple Ashton which included a stone bridge built, we think, by well-known West Country stonemason Andrew Ziminski. His book “The Stomemason” is thoroughly recommended (see link below).


Also in the last two weeks Glyn and Paul both separately did a walk around the Fonthill Estate which will be the subject of the next podcast in two weeks time. Meanwhile Paul suffered the ignominy of being caught with his head in a muddy puddle by a BBC film crew whilst he was searching for the very well hidden fairy shrimp.


We also talk about our plans for Hidden Wiltshire including our first outside location broadcast with a special guest; Hidden Wiltshire walks with some experts from “another orgnisation”; and the new Hidden Wiltshire Shop on the website (link below).


We then go on to talk about the Folly Wood walk. You can follow the route in the link below. This was a location recommend to us by local artist David Alderslade who has painted some remarkable pictures of the famed tree you will find. See the link below. Between them Glyn and Paul did the walk three times in the space of five days. There was so much to see., and slight re-routing to recce.


The walk was the story of bizarre works of art; blocked footpaths; a moated inclosure which was the location for a gatekeeper’s lodge into the Bishops of Salisbury’s deer park; mysterious and touching stories of ghosts and incredible personal sacrifice; and a tree with an adjacent cave that was like something from the imagination of J R Tolkein.


We also encounter some fascinating and lovely people. Sculpture, poet and illustrator Mark Whelehan and his dog Crook, and Hidden Wiltshire followers Melanie May and Wayne Ford – see the links below to their stunning Instagram feeds. We then arrive at a beautiful peaceful woodland called Oakfrith Wood, visit the pretty village of Urchfont and round off with a climb onto Salisbury Plain with its far reaching views.


This is one of those walks where it doesn’t really matter where you start. You can begin in Easterton, Urchfont or New Plantation on Salisbury Plain. There’s even a pub, the Royal Oak at Easterton.


We finish with a reminder about the offer to listeners of the podcast from Lowa Boots UK. You’ll need to listen to the podcast for details of how you can save 20% on their walking boots and shoes.


The music and sounds in the podcast are provided by the multi-talented Steve Dixon. The piece in the Introduction is entitled “The Holloway”, whilst the piece introducing us to the walk is entitled “My Daughter” which is a collaboration between Steve and Dave Guiville.



Links:


You can find out more about Andrew Ziminski and his book “The Stonemason” here Andrew Ziminski - The Stonemason


The new Hidden Wiltshire shop Hidden Wiltshire Shop


You can follow the walk on the Hidden Wiltshire website here Folly Wood and The Headless Horseman


David Alderslade’s website, and his painting “Folly Wood” can be found here David Alderslade - Folly Wood


Melanie May’s beautiful Instagram feed can be found here with superb photographs of Wiltshire’s natural history Melanie May - Wiltshire Girl


Wayne Ford has two Instagram feeds. One is his general photography account. It will come as no surprise to know he is a graphic designer when you see his photography Wayne Ford - General Photography. His other account is also focused on natural history and is called ‘notesfrompinnyland’ (I wish I knew why)! Wayne Ford - Natural History Both accounts are equally captivating.


Glyn’s photographs can be seen on this website and his Instagram feed @coy_cloud


Paul’s website can be found at Paul Timlett Photography and on Instagram at @tragicyclist


Steve Dixon’s sound art can be found on Soundcloud where his username is River and Rail Steve Dixon River and Rail. His photographs can be found on Instagram at @stevedixon_creative and his graphic design business website is at Steve Dixon Creative


The link to report blocked public rights of way to Wiltshire Council My Wiltshire Booking and Reporting


And finally you can find Lowa Boots UK at Lowa Boots UK


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