I can certainly appreciate your sentiments about finding places to walk in solitude, away from other humans and in those places with stunning scenery.
My own preference is for it to be not too hot, green and pleasant, with an abundance of wildlife. What I have found is ideal, within walking distance of my own home is an abundance of chalk streams, which are shallow enough to walk in (with waders)and offer all the pleasantries I have listed above. I can honestly say that, over many years, I have never met any other people on my river-walks, and most the wildlife don't seem to be disturbed by my presence. The whole experience gives me a different and pleasant perspective on life. When I am not walking the riverbed, I will spend hours working to ‘improve' that environment in one way or another, so that when I embark on a walk I am less likely to encounter those irritating reminders of humans and their discarded garbage.
I was going to post a rhyme entitled ‘Human filth', but feel that such a concept might spoil an otherwise aesthetically pleasing sentiment. Hence, I will choose one that tries to capture one of my walks around ‘the ring of springs', which surround my own living environment..
THE RING OF PURWELL SPRINGS
( unique circle and a walk—on sand and gravel, clay and chalk)
The ‘Purwell' name emerges from
The valley and the springs thereon.
It flows right to the Eastern coast.
But of its start I wish to boast.
Transport me back ten thousand years
Before the hoards of man appeared.
And In my mind I visualise.
This place before it's vandalised.
There is a story here to tell.
About a huge artesian well.
Formed from glacial melt by chance.
One would not notice at first glance.
I've been and seen and so I've known.
Each spring has beauty of its own.
Just one of nature's wondrous things.
This unique ring of Purwell springs.
Along the Roman Icknield Way.
The first spring's from a soil of clay.
A source of drink as you can tell.
The place they came to call Cad-well.
It's good to start my journey here.
With man's buildings nowhere near.
A spring that still looks wild and free.
That brings its own tranquillity.
Norton Common and Norton Spring.
Are just outside the Purwell Ring.
They join the ‘Ivel' way downstream.
Thus not within the Purwell theme.
Much further to the East beyond.
There is a spring at Willian pond.
One more in this vicinity.
Is on the way to Wymondley.
Willian Pond is so well known.
On all the maps it's clearly shown.
The one close by's another thing.
A small, elusive little spring.
Within the next wood on your right.
Spring's in a lake just out of sight.
It sits in someone's garden now.
But can be viewed if you know how.
I'm not so sure you really should.
But you can see it from the wood.
Or you can walk the other side.
Because from there it does not hide.
Midway between each Wymondley.
On land right near the Priory.
Stands at the start as I recall.
Here springs the furthest spring of all.
Wonderful setting, beautiful scene.
Such pity that it's rarely seen.
Is it that people do not care?
They treat it like it's just not there.
I don't wish to tell you fibs.
About the pond down at St. Ibbs.
The way the land and water lays.
The stream it seems to flow ‘two' ways.
If you look close, I'm sure you can.
Perceive the sluice in bridge-cum-dam.
So when the water overflows.
Towards the Hiz I think it flows.
Westerly springs are wider spread.
The next one's found at the Wellhead.
This river flows through Hitchin Town.
To meet the main-stream further down.
Well worth the wander on this stretch.
Take camera, paints or pencil sketch.
At times the stream just disappears.
Keep going - ‘till it reappears.
Not to be missed it must be said.
Are two springs down on Oughton Head.
Bear to the right along the lane.
Where spring has sprung its aqua vein.
Whilst walking through this beauty spot.
Take time to think of what we've got.
Along this stream's a worthwhile walk.
For water flows from wall and chalk.
'Snailswell' seems a descriptive name.
A place from whence the waters came.
A few small springs can last be seen.
Around about in Lower Green.
North West Purwell are springs galore.
Round Holwell there are many more.
Small and charming, neat and posh.
Wending their way to Ouse and Wash.
This trip around the ring of springs.
Was meant to highlight many things.
The ancient history of this place.
Its charm and beauty to embrace.
The ring of springs can demonstrate.
How rain and water can filtrate.
Via different layers in the ground.
Until through force of springs is found.
PURWELL SPRINGS is an apt name.
To illustrate this claim to fame.
So I suggest that from now on.
We use this name sine qua non.
B. Withers 2008
(In: ‘Contemplation' 2010)