Pete's Walks - About Me

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Hi! My name is Pete Collins. I live in the village of Kensworth, near Dunstable in Bedfordshire, on the edge of the Chiltern Hills. I was born and brought up here in Kensworth, before leaving at the age of 18. I returned here in 2005.

I have worked in the IT industry for over 30 years, as a programmer at first but latterly as a software tester. For much of the time I was contractor, working on short-term contracts for various companies. I have worked in The Netherlands three times, in Sweden and briefly in California, but mainly here in the UK. I have worked in Abingdon, Liverpool and Welwyn Garden City, and spent eleven years in Ipswich. Since 2010 I have been working in Huntingdon.

Apart from walking, my other main interest is wildlife. This fact explains why this web site is infested with links to my (generally feeble) attempts to photograph wildflowers, butterflies, moths, deer and so on. I am particularly passionate about Red Kites, which were re-introduced in the Chilterns a few years ago and which have added immeasurably to my pleasure in walking these hills.

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A very rare photograph of the shy and elusive Lesser-spotted long-legged Hiker (Latin name: Ploddingus peterus). Do not be alarmed if you come across this strange and ungainly creature, it is generally thought to be harmless (unless seriously provoked!). Its usual habitat is the chalk hills of the Chilterns in southern England, though it sometimes moves north into the Vale of Aylesbury or east into Hertfordshire. A few reported sightings indicate that it may briefly migrate to Yorkshire or the Lake District. Its diet consists mainly of Alpen snack bars and Corned beef and Branston pickle sandwiches. It is often heard muttering to itself, although its vocabulary is largely restricted to 'Red Kites!' and 'Mud!' - the latter is thought to be a reference to ground conditions, rather than the popular beat combo of the 1970's. (Thanks to my friend Stu for taking the photo - the canal bridge at Linslade is where I started both the Greensand Ridge Walk and the Two Ridges Link).

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Update 13/06/15: Another sighting of the elusive Lesser-spotted long-legged Hiker! I glimpsed it in a roadside mirror I passed in Stonor - I turned round and it had vanished!