Burley is a quaint little village, very popular with tourists, with a bicycle hire shop, gift shops, tea rooms and art galleries.
The village has a fairly recent association with witches and witchcraft. In the 1950’s a ‘white’ witch called Sybil Leek lived in Burley. She used to walk around the village with her pet jackdaw on her shoulder in a long black cloak. She moved to America in 1964, and died there in 1982 aged 65 years.
The witchcraft tradition is well catered for with several specific gift shops where lots of items can be bought, from cauldrons to broomsticks.
The village is nestled in the lee of a hill surrounded by an area of true outstanding natural beauty, where ponies and cattle are allowed to roam around freely. Steeped in old customs and history, with picturesque thatched cottages, a lovely tranquil atmosphere is a treat for all its visitors to enjoy.
I have also included other areas of Burley in this section, where you can walk for hours across beautiful landscapes of heathland and woodland.
Burley car park entrance
Burley Cricket car park entrance
To get the next series of shots I needed to be up early, to capture the uncluttered village streets free of people and vehicles.
So, just before 7am on a sunny and dry mid-week May morning I ventured out and had a lovely quiet walk about. [The first 6 slideshows record this assignment].
I started my assignment by parking at 'Burley' Forestry Commission car park [photo above left]. Here I got the quaint little sign reminding people, in rhyme, to not leave their litter behind. On the stroll down the short hill into the village you immediately see the Queens Head pub at the bottom. Built in the 16th century it was notorious for smugglers and highwaymen. On the right hand side before the pub, set back from the footpath, is a rather unusual milestone.
From here you come into the main shopping area with a wonderful selection of shops mainly oriented towards the tourist trade, ranging from withcraft, handmade leather goods, sweets, tea-rooms, public houses, hotels and a cycle hire business. The Burley Cross War Memorial is the focal point of the village, situated between the Post Office, the Burley Inn and Forest Leisure Cycling.
Continuing in a clockwise direction through the village (pun intended) you come to a very beautiful clock. This was designed to commemorate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations in 2012. The border of the clock is made up of eight images, which depict the crown and scenes from the village and forest. One scene includes two children who represent the younger generation and the future of the Forest.
Crossing the road I ventured down The Mall, situated between The Burley Store and Witchcraft shops. There are a few smaller shops along here which leads to the main public car/coach parking area and the public conveniences.
Next to the car park is a field with various items of farm equipment on display, pony rides and other events that are on from time to time.
I finish my assignment by literally coming full circle and arriving back at the Queens Head. A gentle stroll up the short hill and back to the car.
Unusual litter sign
On the green next to Burley car park, facing the main road, is this sign with a quaint little rhyme to remove your litter. It reads:
"Resemble not the little snail Who with slime records its trail Let it be said where you have been You leave the face of nature clean"
This was a chance encounter whilst driving through Burley (a different day to the shots above). Mother and foal decide to have a bit of a cuddle in the road, oblivious to the traffic, as the car in front of me drives around them. The photo on the right is a closer view as we passed them. [Photo taken by Kathy on her phone whilst I was driving, hence reflections of car windscreen].
Going through Burley village, just after passing the two cuddling ponies (photos above), we come across this pony doing a bit of window-shopping. Happily walking along the footpath doing some tail swishing. A common sight here. (Photo taken by Kathy on her phone. Window reflections and stray finger crept in unavoidably).
This section is west of "Clay Hill" Forestry Commission car park.
Clay Hill / Wilverley Post
This section is east of "Clay Hill" car park. There is a small parking area at the barrier on the A35 Wilverley Post. This east end of the track leads to "Clay Hill" car park but is closed between 2 March to 31 July to protect ground nesting birds.
The early morning sun melting the overnight frost has started to generate a mist, meandering through the distant treeline. [Photos taken 11 February 2016]
Kingston Great Common National Nature Reserve
The reserve is part of the Cranes Moor and Vales Moor valley mire complex within the New Forest National Park. National and international designations for the reserve include a Special Protection Area, a Special Area of Conservation and it is also a Ramsar (wetland) site.
The chief habitats on the reserve include the mires, which, particularly in winter, can become waterlogged, and the rare examples of lowland heath.
Some of the most interesting species of birds you might see on the reserve are; woodlark, nightjar, the rare Dartford warbler and the occasional hunting hobby, but the reserve is probably most notable for providing a home to over 20 species of dragonflies and damselflies around the pools and wetter areas. These include the emperor and golden ringed dragonflies, and the keeled skimmer, small red, the black darter, azure and emerald damselflies.
[Photos taken on 29 July 2016]
Opposite the entrance to Burbush Hill Forestry Commission car park. It's just a short walk (west) from the car park over Pound Lane.
Long Pond / Brown Loaf
A hillock known as Brown Loaf which runs between the old disused railway line and Dur Hill Down to the south, and Long Pond and Cranes Moor to the north. [Photos taken on 3 March 2016]
Sir Dudley's Ride / Berry Wood / South Oakley Inclosure
This photoset includes part of a forest track called "Sir Dudley's Ride", Berry Wood and South Oakley Inclosure. [Photos taken May 2015].
South Oakley Inclosure
This photoset of the Inclosure is further northeast from the previous photoset from 'Woods Corner' car park. Parking for this assignment was in Oakley car park. [Photos taken January 2016]