We leave the village, walk downhill, past a bench surrounded by primroses and daffodils. Over a stile and into fields where chocolate-coloured cows graze peacefully, their calves alongside or lying sleepy in the sun.
Our route is clear ahead, and in the near distance a raised railway track follows the valley floor from east to west.
We hear the rumble and thunder of an approaching train – it’s bright livery flashes through gaps in the sparsely leaved trees. Almost as soon as it’s there it’s gone.
Before we reach the railway line three more passenger trains and a goods train charge by, shattering the peace, but briefly.
On other walks the insistent roar of traffic on our motorways cuts off conversation, renders impossible any awareness of the sounds of nature and hammers our ears as we approach, cross by bridge or tunnel, and finally experience the relief of leaving it behind us.
How many trucks and cars would it take to replace those trains?