Naishes Lane - 2 walks
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The nature in this report was based on an August visit. The walk is still worth it but what you see may be very different!
Walk 1 - Possible Wheelchair and Mobility Scooter route
This walk is not a circular route but it's short and easy. I think it's suitable for wheelchairs and mobility scooters (unconfirmed by users so take care).
Drive to Naishes Lane SANGS car park - GU52 8DT. Leave the car park by the path at the opposite end to the vehicle entrance. This path circles the allotments so has two sharp right hand turns. There are nice hedgerows with birdlife and the grass has recently been mown. At the rear of the allotments a nice native hedge has been planted which will be a haven for wildlife in years to come.
The path bends around and down over a gully, currently bone dry, full of wildflowers and butterflies in the sunshine on my recent visit. Keep on the path but turn left between fences at the back of the houses on the right and the gully and woodland on the left. Soon the woodland becomes open fields. Turn right at the corner, the end of the housing and follow the solid track to the T junction and turn left.
On the right is a small balancing pond but you will see a bigger and better one soon. On the left of this path opposite the pond was an impressive 'Chicken of the woods' family fungus on a tree stump. I may not be correct in my identification so please do not try to take it home and eat it! Always be certain of your identification if you want to collect and eat fungus!
Keep going down the path as far as you can and a pond appears on your left. You can drop down a ramp and easily get around the track around the pond. (There may be an edge difficult for wheelchairs and scooters but at worst you can return the way you arrived.)
There are several things to see right now as I write this note . The vegetation is mainly reedmace (called bulrush). Soon the heads will be opened and provide food for goldfinches - you should be able to see and hear these in the hedgerow across from the pond.
You should also see the evening primrose flowers if the storms have not destroyed them! A nice example of purple loosestrife and wild carrot. There are plenty more plants to find here.
You may hear some strange sounds from the reeds. There is a family of Little Grebes here, adults and young that make a strange bubbling sound. The adults in summer plumage are quite colourful while the young are dull brown and grey. They come out into the open water but are nervous if there's too much noise or activity. You will also hear and see Moorhens, adults and young.
Turning away from the pond, at this time of year swallows are on the move, beginning migration back to Africa. Young and adults gather over fields to hawk for insects and rest on the power or telephone lines. Looking towards the farm buildings across the fields should give you a good sight of them.
Spend some time here sitting and watching, you will enjoy it and return home with a nice list of things you have seen.
Returning is by way of the same route you came.
Walk 2 - Circular via Ewshot Lane and Riddings Copse
If you are not in a wheelchair or mobility scooter there is a circular route on the map below. It needs care because it involves entering Ewshot Lane at the Balancing Pond, turning left then with some walking along what can be a busy, narrow lane (highlighted blue), before you turn left onto a bridleway that leads back to the car park. The bridleway is a nice walk and passes Riddings Copse with roe deer (you need to be very quiet to see them) and 'pillboxes' from WWII. There has been a lot of pollarding of trees there and it has created an open environment worthy of exploration.
Visitor engagement at Naishes Lane is managed by Blackwater Valley Countryside Partnership