Friday, 8 May 2009


Mallards Mere

I was in the area for lunch and decided to add a walk, in line with my policy of always trying to walk whenever away from home. I found this walk on the Surrey County Council website.

This walk begins at Effingham Junction station and quickly heads off through woods (where I could hear the tops of the closely-planted pine trees clashing in the wind) and farmland towards Bookham, passing by the National Trust owned Bank's Common. You then skirt Little Bookham and go through the very pleasant Oaken Wood.

On emerging from the wood you follow a track and then some fields which lead down to three lakes dating from about 1980 with the slightly naff (and ungrammatical) names of Herons Reach, Mallards Mere and Pikes Pond. I did in fact see a heron as I approached. To be fair, the three lakes are very pretty and covered in wildfowl - a bit like a boating lake.

The walk description refers to a large colony of Canada geese and I was thrilled to see a pair of adult geese with no less than 12 goslings in line ahead, apparently with a mallard escort.

At the end of Mallards Mere you cross a footbridge which seems to be where they hang out when not in the water.

In the field beyond, I spotted another pair of geese taking their slightly older, and smaller, brood for a walk.

After a short stretch of road, the final leg of the walk crosses Effingham Common to return to the start.

Map: Explorer 146 (Dorking, Box Hill and Reigate).

Rating: three and a half stars. Pleasant commons and woods, and lovely lakes, but a bit suburban in places, especially around Little Bookham.


The heron and some Tufted Ducks on the lake, as well as legions of Canada geese and Mallards. Lots of small rabbits at every field edge - maybe not quite as wary yet as their seniors, and not so quick to run for cover. And a very rich selection of wildflowers, some of which I tried to photograph, though not very successfully


I am going to try to have a "flower of the day" on future postings. This will hopefully drive me to improve my photographic technique, and in particular master the macro function on my camera. Here is today's - Bugle.

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