Thursday, 7 May 2009

Burghfield (Theale Lake and Whitehouse Green)

About the walk

This walk begins on the edge of Burghfield Village. A series of fields and lanes brings you to Whitehouse Green - one of those "blink and you've missed it" places. Quite soon you reach an unnamed former gravel pit, which you skirt two sides of. This was actually the best bit of the walk as there were quite a few wildfowl on the lake: Tufted Ducks, Great Crested Grebe and Canada Geese among them.

As you leave the lake you join the Kennet and Avon Canal tow path and follow this for about a mile - probably one of the less interesting stretches unfortunately.

As you approach the M4 you are joined by Theale Lake on the right, and just before the motorway bridge you turn right and follow the northern edge of the lake for some way before turning south back to Burghfield.

Theale Lake is a large, but fairly characterless body of water. It is popular with boating enthusiasts and fishermen, but in truth not very interesting to walk around. I was staggered to see one chap fishing in shorts, with the lake water up to his knees.

From: Rambling for pleasure around Reading (second series) by David Bounds for the East Berkshire Ramblers

Map: Explorer 159 (Reading, Wokingham and Pangbourne)

Rating: two and a half stars. Not a complete washout, but disappointing.


Apart from the wildfowl, did see a red kite and a pair of Jays and a few clumps of this striking yellow flower, which I have identified, without complete conviction, as Common Winter-Cress.

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