We didn't go to Buzbury Rings; it is completely fenced in with no public access at all.
After days of freezing rain the 25th dawned bright with little or no wind and, as your Mudhoppers have been stuck indoors for too many days, we went and had a good squelch through the muddy lanes around Badbury Rings. It was a beautiful day to be out of doors and we joined the many who were taking advantage of a bank holiday to get away from the glittery madness.
And afterwards we didn't go to Buzbury Rings-a little known earthworks a couple of miles away from Badbury. If we had we would have needed to park the car in a lay-by and walked along the B3082 until we found the overgrown bridleway which borders the western end of the site. This we would have had to follow, alongside that dense (and more than a little inviting) woodland until we reached a gate at the end. Here on the southern side of the site the barbed wire gives way to an electric fence-and far be it for us to even consider scrambling underneath it.
Had we done so we would then approach the Rings with that feeling that most people get when walking into part of our history, the fascination with what those who went before have left behind. In most instances of this, e.g. with a Saxon church or an Elizabethan merchants' hall, there is written history which, although it does nothing to dispel that sense of awe, gives a fairly detailed account of life in those times. But, with so much unknown of the folk who constructed the ancient earthworks, sites like Buzbury have that edge of mystery, of excitement and even, dare we say it?, of magic.
Had we walked into the Rings we would have been treated to the rare sighting of a hare, a hefty example of its species darting around in the centre. The kestrel too, flying low over the field not a hundred feet away from where we would have been stood. And all around the peace of the countryside on a warm winter's day would have given our spirits, already high from our day's Mudhopping, that extra lift. Probably enough to cause us to decide to climb through a barbed wire fence to get back to the car.
But we did not go to Buzbury Rings, that would have been trespassing.
Our seasons greetings to you all. We hope you enjoyed the festivities in whichever way you celebrated them. 2010 here we come!