Distance: 800m. Direction: roughly N - S
It was long believed that a later tenant, General Thomas Pearson, erected the lodge but, a few years ago, a telegram was found in the thatch when it was being re-roofed. It was addressed to De la Rue saying the lodge was ready for collection at Sandy Station.
For about 900 metres the track follows the western edge of a pine plantation south across Sandy Heath. It was known as the Short Riding and now forms part of the Skylark Ride, East Bedfordshire’s 36 km circular horse ride from Sutton, through Wrestlingworth, across Biggleswade Common, up through Sandy Warren to join the Roman Road. If you don’t meet up with any horse riders, you will see plenty of evidence of horses’ hooves in the mud along the way.
As the bridleway passes through woodland, one can observe that, while the trees may not be very old, this woodland site probably is, for the ground is carpeted with Bluebells, a sign that this may be part of the ancient wildwood that once covered most of England. Look, too, for the purple-flowered Herb Robert and for Spring-beauty, with insignificant white flowers borne strangely from the centre of a coin-sized disc-like leaf. In spring and summer, Speckled Wood butterflies each settle on a sun-drenched leaf, and then defend it against other butterflies. The harsh cries of the Jay and the sudden “tchick” call of the Great Spotted Woodpecker will be heard more often than their shy originators are seen. If you are lucky, and do catch a glimpse, look out for the white rump patch of the pinky-brown Jay as it flies away, and for the big white shoulder marks on the black-and-white Great Spotted Woodpecker.
The bridleway passes underneath the electricity transmission line just before it meets the Long Riding (TL 191487), a 1,500 metre long track running NE-SW across Sandy Heath. This would have been part of the route taken by the local gentry, the Pyms of Hasells Hall and the Peels of Sandy Lodge, on their horse rides. At the end of the plantation the track passes a pylon and then continues south for about 300 metres across Woodcock Covert, to a line of trees on the north side of the A1042 Potton Road (TL 191485) and continues into Sandy Warren as Bridleway 32.