Box Hill cattle poo

The fairly short but steep walk up Box Hill in Surrey is a popular walk, but I’m not sure it will remain so. There was a large amount of cattle dung on the face of the hill, which is where most people walk. We caught a glimpse of the cattle and it was hard to believe that just seven creatures could excrete so much! My guess is that there are ecological reasons for introducing the animals to this space, but I can’t say I’m a fan.

My wife noted the unreassuring use of the word “often” in the poster sentence “They have a gentle, placid nature often ignoring walkers and dogs”.

Wimbledon Greyhound Stadium

In Saturday’s Guardian there was an interesting article on the closure of Wimbledon Greyhound Stadium.

I have fond memories of the only time I went greyhound racing, at Wimbledon, with half-a-dozen work colleagues.

As well as 10 or so races to bet on, we had some surprisingly good food. My cautious colleagues decided to place £2 each-way bets on each race, but I decided to follow a riskier strategy. I was prepared to lose up to £50 over the course of the evening (yet still have a good time), so I went for £5 bets, each race, on a dog to win. Riskier but potentially more rewarding!

How did we do? My recollection is that most of my colleagues lost small amounts overall, whereas I ended £50 up by the end of the evening! No skill involved, just a lot of luck and a riskier betting strategy. A night that now, cannot be repeated.

Wimbledon Greyhound Track closed last night and will be knocked down to be replaced by a football stadium for AFC Wimbledon, 600 new homes and a leisure centre.

Snakes alive on Colley Hill!

We weren’t expecting to see snakes on our walk! I think it’s the first time I’ve seen a snake in the wild, and today we saw two adders, the only venomous snake native to Britain. My wife doesn’t like snakes.

The first picture is a panoramic view made up of five images stitched together. Taken from the top of Colley Hill, the view looks down towards the pleasant Surrey town of Reigate. The panda-like animal is a Belted Galloway cow. It was another surprise on our walk, though less scary than the adders.