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A good wander this one with the opportunity of finding plenty of nature. For those with mobility scooters the first part is perfectly acceptable along concrete roads and then just a case of how far you can go before the ground becomes too uneven.
Map: For this one I advise OS Explorer Sheet 195, Braintree and Saffron Walden.
Parking: Wickham Hall. This is accessed by following the signs through Stortford Fields new estate. Please note there are paths around the hall that are private and are marked as such.
Leave the car park and walk towards the 3 large drying barns. Check around here for finches (chaffinch, goldfinch as well as yellowhammers in the adjacent hedgerow) Turn right at the barns and follow the track until you come to a junction. Wickham Hall is on you right as you walk along here. At the junction turn right and wander along by a newly planted vineyard with a new building on the corner. Here, turn left and you will, after a few hundred yards come to a house where the path veers right . Here it is grassy, wide and fairly even. The path from here to Walnut tree cottages is full of interesting trees and wild flowers. Take time to look to the right where you may get a glimpse of the lake. This has no access but with binoculars you maybe able to spot several wild fowl species as well as Canada geese and even a mute swan.
At Walnut tree cottages there is a footpath on your right which passes Calfsfield Spring and soon arrives at another concrete track. This is used by occasional traffic accessing the businesses and the farm so do take care. Check the ivy here for a wide variety of insects, particularly Eurpoean hornet and several bee species. Wild flowers can be abundant along here.
Once on the concrete track turn right back towards Wickham Hall. The track winds a little before eventually coming to a junction, left towards the A120 bypass and right towards a phone mast and the hall. Turn right and you will end up back at the path by the house and vineyard.
A pleasant and a non taxing walk. Do let me know how you get on, especially if on a mobility scooter. I cannot guarantee the path from Walnut tree cottages to Calfsfield Spring will be accessible but the rest should be fine.
Certain sites around the town are, I suspect well known but if anyone needs a guide to:
River Stort Grange Paddocks
Southern Country Park
Thorley Wash Reserve
Tow path of Stort Navigation.
then do let me know and I can suggest a route with parking facilities etc. It maybe you are new to the area or have only recently decided to wander a little further.
For example, did you know there was a car park at the end of Cannons Mill Lane entering from Rye Street? This can be found after the last building on the right along Rye Street if you were heading out of town. Drive to the end where there is a pedestrian level crossing. The other side of Cannons Mill Lane brings you out on to Stansted Road near the Shell petrol station and an easy wander to Birchanger Woods.
From the car park you can walk towards Bat Willow Hurst Country park by the Mountbatten Curry house or follow the river to the swimming pool. No charge for parking here and, as far as I recall, no height restriction. Also, a few picnic benches scattered around.
As always, corrections and comments most welcome when you do any of the walks and always happy to see photos.