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A walker's note

I had forgotten until I began walking around Saunton and Shawford (see below) that England is crisscrossed with public footpaths - narrow trails that range through woods and behind private gardens, around farm meadows and pastures, alongside parish churches, up your neighbour's hill and down a stranger's dale, all stitched together by gates you open (and carefully shut) or by stiles, which keep a fence closed but allow you passage. You respect another person's livelihood and property, while at the same time you gain an intimate sense of country life and freely share in the loveliness of country lurks and views. Marvellous!

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