Thursday, 22 May 2008

Baughurst and Ashford Hill Meadows

Baughurst - Smithley's Copse

The walk starts by the village hall in Heath End, between Tadley and Baughurst, but quickly escapes the rather suburban beginnings. The first part is over fields with pleasant views towards the north Hampshire Downs. Here we saw a Jay perched tantalisingly on a fence post. The remainder passes through a chain of copses and the Ashford Hill Meadows nature reserve to return to the start.

Smithley's Copse is the first of the copses and here the path descends to a crossing over the Sandford stream. As the photo above shows, this a pretty spot with tall trees - enhanced today by a lone deer, who studied us for a moment before loping off.

Woodland path

Later the path passes between Butlers Cope and Sleepers Copse, creating a very pleasant ride, home to more deer. This gives way to the nature reserve.

Ashford Hill Meadows

Apparently it is home to 32 species of butterfly, although none were in evidence today. The carpet of wild flowers was very impressive though.

Rating: three and a half stars. Nicely varied, but not so interesting at the start and finish.

From: Rambling for Pleasure: Kennet Valley and Watership Down, by David Bounds for the East Berkshire Ramblers’ Association Group.

Map: Explorer 158 (Newbury and Hungerford).

No comments: