Off The Beaten Track

Yardley Chase in the distance 70mm 1/60 f13 ISO100

I took my camera for a bike ride today.

To save having to keep walking the same routes and trying to find an interesting photo composition I decided to spread my wings a bit and found an uninteresting photo composition…

I pumped up the tyres on my mountain bike, loaded my camera bag and tripod on my back and set off for an off-road route. It wasn’t the most auspicious of routes or location but it was exercise and somewhere a bit different. After about a mile I turned off the road onto a bridleway and up through a farm and towards some woods near Yardley Hastings. It is Forestry Enterprise woodland but the bridleway goes through it. In my travels I wandered off onto a different track, still semi made up track but I pressed on until I came across a fellow just returning to his pick up truck who had some advice for me. He said that I shouldn’t be there as that part was private. I apologised and said sorry but I didn’t see any signs. He said there was a sign that I must have come past, I said, not to my knowledge. I was informed that it was on a gate that was open that I must have cycled past. Anyway, he said that there were men in that part of the woods with guns and that they were shooting. I can only assume they were using guns with an excellent brand of silencer as I had heard nothing. I didn’t get into an argument though. However it was all very amicable and indeed there was a sign on the ‘gate’ but it was open and the sign not that big. The ‘gate’ was a horizontal piece of wood and an angular supporting piece making the structure, just like an upside down right angled triangle. It was more of a barrier than a gate I would say. Also easily missed when riding a mountain bike off road with your eyes on the next puddle or pothole.

I assumed they were hunting and shooting game, as there are spotting platforms and markers in the woods, but maybe not ? I know that in the last war and subsequently there are some big ‘bunkers’ in the wood that were ammunition stores, including bombs. At one time there were railway tracks in the woods that linked up with the old Bedford to Northampton railway line to service these bunkers. There is more I could say in the way of evidence but maybe I should not because it could be classified information. I know those bunkers still exist because a few years I came across them and actually they do show up on Ordnance Survey maps, so maybe not that much of a secret.

Having written all that, I found some evidence on Wikipedia. Rather than rewrite my post I will leave you to read it if you wish. This is the link. Its quite interesting.

Maybe when the weather is better and warmer later in the year I will explore some more. Watch this space. It certainly seems like it might be worth a surreptitious poke around one day/evening.

I did get four pictures but more as landscape test shots than anything serious. I am still getting to learn the foibles of my latest camera, a Canon 5D mk3 DSLR. Its not the latest version which is the mk4, but it always receives good reviews as a highly recommended and well reviewed camera. These days as they are ‘old’ they are available at a very good price on eBay. I use the same criteria buying cameras as I used to use on bike purchases and that is to quote an often used saying, “I hope after I’m gone my wife doesn’t sell my cameras for what I told her they cost”

Canon 5D Mark III

8 thoughts on “Off The Beaten Track

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  1. There are public rights of way even on private land, I know this because I have a friend who is a rambler and often gets into these sort of conversations you had. I think you can get the public walk and cycle ways from the local council’s website Brian that might give you some new adventures to explore. Stay safe and well.

    Liked by 1 person

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