Thursday, 6 April 2017

Studham Common And Surrounds

Another lovely April day today, so I escaped the house and took myself off for an adventure.

The sun was shining, it was quite warm, and one place I have been promising myself to walk around for the last 40 years is Studham Common. Somehow, I never managed to get around to it, so now was as good a time as any.

Back in the days when I lived in Dunstable and commuted to Hemel Hempstead I would occasionally go through Studham just to vary my journeys and to wonder at the inhabitants who lived around this common. Little cottages tucked away tightly against the kerb on a narrow twisting route. And a free house pub standing proudly overlooking the visible common.

View of Studham, from a photograph original I took this afternoon.

I parked up near the crossroads, and took myself off to the south west, across the common field that appears to be used on occasion for a village game of football, through the trees, and trampling along a well trodden path. By and large the wood opened up onto a wide green thoroughfare, a decent sized cottage standing at the end of it, like a hopeful mansion house with its Lord of the Manor vista in the style of Wrest House, looking down it's green vista, albeit on a much more miniscule scale, I hasten to add.

The walk turned past the cottage, which turned out to be called 'The School House', and moved onto a signed bridleway alongside a field. This route didn't seem like it would be too exciting, and though uneventful, it soon ended up on a lane, which I followed all the way back to the main road that runs through Studham. On the way I noted a substantial old set of cottages - 1864 - I think it proclaimed in  it's genuinely pleasing style on the cement on it's front. And then there was a playground tucked away in a distant corner of the Studham Sports and Social Club's cricket ground. They must really want to make those kids work hard to get to somewhere they can play.

Heading back down into Studham, I veered off to the right, on a road that turned out to divide Studham Common into the East Field and the West Field, according to the notice board conveniently placed to tell me where I was.  As the East Field had approached, so too did a blight on the landscape. Someone had evidently thought the car park could do with some seating and had dumped a leather settee and pushchair at the entrance.


Heading East, then north in the East Field - I spied a Red Kite hovering around, although I couldn't get a clear shot of it for the tree branches. There is plenty of evidence that someone has been busy planting more saplings around the edges of this fallow uncultivated green field.

View of East Common, adapted from a photograph I took this afternoon.
What's the saying? Spring is sprung? Blossom in the East Common field edge.

From the eastern side of the East Common, the hamlet looks particularly quaint.

In a hollow clearing in the trees, off to the north on the way back to the centre of the village, I stood still for awhile, taking in nature. A couple of pigeons flew off a branch, disturbed. A robin flew down and hopped a little closer towards me. A rabbit hopped over a branch in the middle distance.



Once back in the centre of the village I sat awhile on the wall of the Studham Community Centre, and looked back at the view into the tight corner as a pedestrian and cyclist came past.

A delightfully picturesque view of Studham, adapted from a photograph I took this afternoon.


I walked past the memorial stone at the cross-roads, and sat awhile in the sunshine. A couple of riders on ponies came past. Who wants to be stuck indoors on a day like this?




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