August’s trip to Clifton Hill Gravel Pits (or Northampton Washlands if you prefer) turned into a bit of a fiasco!! Meeting in the usual place at the car park by the side of the Holiday Inn, we then proceeded up onto the bank to be met by a ‘Footpath Closed’ sign. Seemed like the Environment Agency were doing some repair work to bridges/ditches. We followed what appeared to be an alternative footpath only for it to peter out! Back to the cars to decide what to do. We headed for Weston Mill at the other end of the reserve. The ‘discovery’ of Abington Meadows reserve looked like a good way to get where we wanted but no, thwarted again by ‘Footpath Closed’. Finally, we found a way to get up on the perimeter bank, but by then we were all pretty well fed up. So, after a scan around and a short walk along the bank and back we called it a day and headed home! Let’s hope for better luck this month on the 21st. Bruce White.