Pooh sticks and Wittenham Clumps

As a prize for working very hard and not fighting during Felix’s moving into my house we went out for a walk around Wittenham Clumps in Oxfordshire.

The Clump ...from the Pooh Sticks bridge at Days Lock, R. Thames

Earlier in the year I bought Felix a book called “A Brit Different” (I cannot resist bad wordplay) which is a fun book about all the daft things us Brits get up to outdoors in the name of fun. It turns out that the World Pooh Sticks competition is held on the Thames, just beneath Wittenham Clumps in March every year. Felix and I decided to get some early practice in – you know, spotting the fastest flowing water, working out the optimum stick dimensions, all the usual things to give us an edge in the upcoming contest.

FOR THE AVOIDANCE OF DOUBT: I should make it clear that Pooh Sticks is not an Olympic event and to the best of my knowledge will not be featuring in the London 2012 Games …well not officially, but you might spot a group of walkers gleefully leaping from side to side over the edge of a bridge on the Itchen near Winchester :-)

The hills provide a wonderful vantage point across the Oxfordshire countryside. They have featured in my walks along the Thames Path with my friends from Lambeth Council, and also on Felix’s A4074 walks. Radiohead recorded their video Faust Arp up here:

…and an earlier artist (Joseph Tubb) carved a poem into a tree, recounting the local history:

The poem tree on Castle Hill, poem by Joseph Tubb, tree by Nature

Joseph Tubb's poem (with ghostly Felix and me - whoooooo)

The colours are amazing at this time of year with reds, orange, yellow, greens, blues – most of the rainbow, and the low sun creates dramatic shadows, through which you can glimpse all the little creatures frenetically gathering food to see them through the winter.

Autumnal colours in the woods at Wittenham

View from Wittenham Clump

Most of the animals moved too fast for my photographic reflexes but there was one woodland creature that seemed to be trying out different shelters that you may recognise…

Could it be a woolly squirrel?

A good place to hibernate?

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3 Responses to Pooh sticks and Wittenham Clumps

  1. Liz T. says:

    Looks like a lesser spotted feasel to me.

  2. admin says:

    Well-spotted Liz! You clearly know your feasels to correctly identify that this is the lesser-spotted variety. Not a polka-dot in sight :-)

  3. colleen says:

    That woolly squirrel has being playing with walnuts if I’m not mistaken.

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