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Nation diary: darkish bushes guard even darker mysteries

Chanctonbury Ring, West Sussex Jackdaws, ravens and hobbies dance within the sky, oblivious to tales of fairies and ghosts and ritual sacrifice

The morning solar shines via the cover of the wooden on the backside of the hill, making the fallen leaves on the bottom glow rust-red. The steep chalk and gray mud observe is greasy from final night time’s rain. Both facet, flocks of tits – blue, nice, coal and long-tailed – flit about, and wrens heckle my laboured climb with loud alarm calls.

On the prime of the hill, the robust, chilly wind is shaking the bushes, some already stripped skeletal-bare. Rising into the open, I activate to the South Downs Approach and comply with the trail via a gate, over a cattle grid. The gentle contour of the hilltop sweeps as much as the early iron age fort, hidden by a cap of darkish bushes.

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