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  • Writer's pictureMelanie Cable-Alexander

On patrol with The Newt's new footpath warden

For once we had a marvellously sunny day so I headed up Lodge Hill this morning with greater alacrity than normal. I'd been told that the bridge which is meant to link the farm on Lodge Hill to the Newt is to be erected next week so I decided to pace over to see that only much of my view was obscured by the high mounds of earth and the metal railings that are surrounding the building works. I could just make out the arched bank leading to the buttress that will support the bridge when it is put up.

From there I traced my steps to rejoin the footpath proper across to the millennium dome and beyond down the track to wear the footpath veers off to Castle Cary's primary school where I happened upon the Newt's new footpath warden Robert. He has moved from France with his landscape gardening wife to take up the job. We then walked the footpath trail together, over the old mounds of the original Castle Cary castle, the stone from which is the main building material for The George in Cary, the town's main pub also now owned by The Newt. We headed uphill along he top and back down the footpath by the dome where I wanted to show the footpath warden how muddy slippy the track can be now that the area has been cordoned off to corral walkers into one strip. However it felt a bit like a visit to the doctor when your symptoms disappear on arrival. In this case, the hill was practically as dry as a bone.

Patrolling the footpaths at The Newt
Robert, the charming footpath warden for The Newt in Somerset

It was fun showing Robert around who is new to the area and relaying some of the hill's history and traditions. Soon the three crosses will go up at the top of the hill marking the crucifixion; later in the year the giant shaped bramble cross will be lit with beacons to commemorate the wars; I also explained the views over to Glastonbury how they remain a constant source of fascination and contemplation for locals.

We were also able to see how far the Newt has progressed in building its "motorway" or N1 as we call it across the hill which will link the manor house to The Newt and will enable visitors to walk, cycle or buggie through the farm up to The Newt's gardens.

Work on the new road linking Castle Cary to The Newt in Somerset
The new road from the Newt to Lodge Hill, Castle Cary. We have nicknamed it the N1!

We circuited about three plus miles all in all the dogs and me, scooping up Buster the Scottie from a friend who was in a rush to get back to her desdk en route. What a day for a decent walk and to show a relative newcomer our glorious landscape.

Memorial bench on Lodge Hill owned by The Newt
A new memorial bench at the top of Lodge Hill owned by The Newt in Somerset, another reminder of how much Lodge Hill provides inspiration and solace for us all


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