The weather was actually much brighter than the dark and moody picture suggests.
I last did the walk on boxing day in 2010 when there was beautiful blue skies, snow and ice. I slipped then in the ice without any harm and did the same yesterday.
This time however I landed in a large puddle of very soggy Essex mud and clay. Which led to some strange looks on the way home when stopping off at Waitrose.
Towards the end of the walk there was a Grouse shooting party. A line of men with shotguns standing alongside the public path were shooting at birds being driven from the woods by beaters. To my surprise they missed a number of birds that they fired at who were flying low and fast overhead. Yet there was a trailer full of dead birds (see picture on Facebook). I asked one of the shooters if they ate or sold the birds. He said he did eat them, after leaving them a week to decay and improve the flavour. However, he did not pluck them himself, there was "on old boy in the village" who did it for him.
You could hear the sound of gunfire from all directions for much of the walk. The season I believe finishes tomorrow. While I have never hunted and killed anything in my life, it would be I think rather hypocritical of me to cast any doubt on those who do, when I was happily seeking supermarket Welsh lamb joints a few hours later.