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Walk 13

Great Haughurst Copse Walk

Approximate time 1 1⁄2 - 2 hours.  Distance: 3.9 miles

Start map reference: What3words: mirror.clouds.shame; Map ref: SU5797.6184.

Living in the Baughurst and Wolverton Parish, we have an abundance of opportunities to go out and places to walk.  This can be an evening walk after work, with an opportunity to clear one’s head after a busy day, a long walk with the dog through the beautiful countryside and rounded off with a stop for refreshment as desired.

Our walk starts and ends at the Badgers’ Wood pub in Baughurst.  We start by walking down Wolverton Road, towards Axmansford.  The road has no pavement so we must take care and look out for oncoming traffic and make sure our children and dogs are carefully supervised.  After 300m we turn right onto Inhurst Lane and follow it for 75m, turning left onto the footpath [Footpath 7] which is clearly marked.  We follow this footpath for about 100m and then turn right.

At this point it is important to have a good look around you.  Immediately to your left is an all-weather gallop used for exercising horses.  Further to the west on a clear day you can see Watership Down and the Hannington radio mast.  Straight in front of you is Great Haughurst Copse.  Walk 75m to the entrance of the Copse.

Great Haughurst Copse is a gem of a place, brimming with flora and fauna.  It is important to keep to the footpaths.  This will avoid damage to the flora, such as the beautiful snowdrops that are coming out now, the profusion of azure bluebells that flood the copse in spring and the other fungi, anemones and orchids.  It is important to know that it can take up to 25 years for anemones to establish themselves in the woodland, so stepping off the footpath can damage at best and destroy at worst this beautiful natural heritage.

Entering the copse, we need to bear left following the path and the signs that bear to the left.  After 50 metres, you will appear in the open with pine trees on your right and the all-weather horse training track on your left.  Follow this path until you reach a gate and the footpath.

The pine trees to the left are what’s left of a crop that was planted over 60 years ago.  Unfortunately, the pine trees are no longer useful from a commercial perspective and the owners of the copse are working to thin them to give the floor of the wood access to sunlight.

Next, you turn right onto the bridle path [Bridleway No 6].  The pines are again on the right, with a variety of other indigenous tree types on the left.  Up until the 1970s, this had been one of the locations where the trees had been used for the local manufacture of besom brooms.

Now, follow the bridle path, which actually forms part of the parish boundary, for about 400m and turn left into an open field.  When my children were little in summertime, we referred to this place as ‘grasshopper meadows’ due to the constant noise they made.

Follow the path now downhill.  Be careful when it’s muddy.  It is quite steep and can be slippery.  The footpath will take you over a river (a tributary of the river Enborne that starts its life in Wolverton Townsend) and leads you to a right turn that will have you facing Ashford Hill Water Meadow.

Ashford Hill Water Meadow is owned by English Nature and is managed by a local farmer, who grazes his cattle there.  So, it is really important to ensure that your dogs are on the lead at all times.  After the Second World War, the area was considered to be developed as a reservoir.  Thankfully, the people from the area fought the proposal and we have the area of beauty to enjoy today.

Once in the water meadow, keep close to the right hand side and the river.  You will pass a bridge and then come across a second crossing of the river.  You need to take this and make your way across the next field to a gate.  Take care as there are often cows grazing here.

In the next field, take an immediate right and follow the hedge as it bends away to the left.  You’ll come across a further gate, go through it and follow the footpath up through the woodland until you come to an open field.  Follow the footpath across the field and please do not be tempted to leave it.  The field is used by the farmer and walkers should not deviate from the path.

Next our walk takes us onto Little Aldershot Lane.  This starts with a small grouping of houses and then bears round to the right with fields on either side.  Follow the road until it joins Inhurst Lane and bear right.  The walk then takes you past Stokes Lane on the left and Haughurst Hill on the right.  You will pass the entrance to Haughurst House that has a beautiful carving of two owls at its entrance.

Follow the lane, until you come across a footpath/bridleway [Bridleway No 5] on your left.  Follow this path, known as Snake Lane, until it joins Brimpton Road.  Then take a right and follow the road until it comes to the Badgers’ Wood Pub and the end of your walk.

Map of Walk 13 Map of Walk 13

Below is the full description of the Walk 13 - Great Haughurst Copse. This document may be printed and is five pages long. It contains the description of the walk given above, all the images and the map of the walk. The full image gallery is also included below - click the slider button to move on to the next image.

Walk 13: Great Haughurst Copse File Uploaded: 3 October 2023 2.9 MB