Saturday 2 July was the date for Leadon Vale Ramblers to visit Dorstone and tackle the Herefordshire Trail over Merbach Hill before returning via tracks and lanes. Dorstone boasts the best archaeology in Herefordshire, most obviously with Arthur’s stone a 5,000 years old tomb, which would once have been covered over.
But on neighbouring Dorstone Hill major excavations are taking place with a whole team from Manchester University camped in the village.Three timber aisled halls have been discovered, dating from 4,000-3,700 BC, the earliest timber buildings so far discovered in Herefordshire.
From Merbach Hill you get amazing panoramic views of Clee hill, the Malverns, Brecon Beacons and Hergest Ridge.
On our return I decided we would avoid Spoon Lane, a by-way which gives the most direct route back, because parts of it are completely overgrown. Mary and I had recced it but we disappeared from view entirely at times. It is a shame because the central section had been cleared at some effort but that was to no avail when either end was so overgrown. I had also contacted the parish clerk for Dorsone who told me the parish would not clear it because they received no funding for it.I’ve reported the problem so we will see what response we get from Balfour Beatty.
It was especially nice to welcome several people new to Leadon Vale, Penny from Kings Caple, Tom and Steph from Little Dewchurch, and Trevor and Lynn from Rugby. They were caravanning at Orcop and had found the walk on Walkfinder. We hope to see them again.