Distance: 2.5 miles approximately
Terrain: Mostly flat with a steep initial descent and very steep steps at the halfway point. The area gets very boggy, so there are long stretches of boardwalk.
Grid Reference: ST1067 2266
This is the second time that I have walked in this quietly tucked away nature reserve, which is looked after by Somerset Wildlife Trust. The first time, I walked it last summer when the heath was full of tall grasses and shetland ponies grazed in large fenced off areas. It looks completely different in Spring and is a whole lot wetter underfoot, so walking boots/wellies are essential!
It was a really promising start to the walk as from the Jubilee Seat, where the Nature Reserve begins, we could hear a woodpecker, although someone left their binoculars behind so failed to actually spot it! And we heard another one on one of the boardwalk sections too.
We used this downloadable nature trail by Somerset Wildlife Trust to guide us on our walk which also details what to look out for in different seasons.
The walk traverses through the heath, and in the summer, through the field of ponies, into a shaded, steep woodland at the apex of this hairpin-shaped walk. As we ascended out of the wooded valley, we caught a glimpse of the back of a deer. One day we will be quiet enough to see one that isn’t running away from us!
If you are walking with someone who cannot/would rather not do the steep climbs, you can skip out the wooded area altogether (ie. once you reach the post with the number 7 on it, do an about-turn and return the way you came). Also, although the boardwalks traverse the marshiest areas, some of them are in a state of disrepair so do take caution. Even in the Summer, there are areas which remain wet underfoot.
It was great to see the catkins out in full force.
This is definitely a walk I will do again and again as there is so much to see at different times of the year.
If you are planning on doing the walk, may I suggest that if you don’t take a picnic, that you stop at Scarlett’s Garden at the White Post Nursery for lunch or cake (they are only open seasonally, so please check opening times first).