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Saltwells Local Nature Reserve

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Saltwells Local Nature Reserve
Author: sammy_benbow, Published: 28 May 2014 Walk rating : Rating:star1 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar1 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar1 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar1 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar0 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK
West Midlands, Dudley
Walk Type: Woodland
Saltwells Local Nature Reserve
Length: 3 miles,  Difficulty: boot iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK boot iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK
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This is a 3 mile circular walk that takes you from Saltwells Nature Reserve, past St Andrew's Church (not visited on this walk) and Lodge Farm Reservoir before returning to the Nature Reserve car park. The route follows the Sculpture Trail for a short distance, then leads onto the Murray Grey trail. There are a couple of nature boards on the route, one of which details the "bell pits", an unusual type of coal mine, and you will see several sculptures. The name "Murray Grey" refers to the breed of cattle that can occasionally be seen grazing in the field on the other side of the canal.

You will need to negotiate one stile and a couple of kissing gates. Most of the paths are tarmac, but there are also a few across open grassland. There is a free car park at the start of the walk, however, there are no other amenities nearby (except a pub on the same road, The Saltwells Inn.)

The walk starts and finishes from the Saltwells Local Nature Reserve Car Park, south of Dudley. Turn off the A4036 onto Coppice Lane (which becomes Saltwells Road). Just past the bend (before the traffic lights), turn left into Saltwells Lane. The road looks like it's entering a trading estate. Continue straight for 250m, and the car park is straight ahead at the bend.

Nearest bus stop: the 276 bus stops on Coppice Road. See nxbus.co.uk for details.

Approximate postcode: DY5 1AX
Telephone number: 01384 814642

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Walk Sections

Start to Hilltop
Start to Hilltop

Start point: 52.48 lat, -2.0991 long
End point: 52.4916 lat, -2.0937 long

There is a nature board at the entrance to the car park that details some of the history of the Nature Reserve.

Depart the car park through the black gate at the far end. As you walk along this first short stretch, you will see several sculptures. Continue on this footpath until you see a short flight of steps on the right hand side. Take these and follow the path through the woods. Parts of this track can be slightly muddy.

Continue on until you join the tarmac path, through the metal squeeze gate. Turn left here and after a short distance, take the path on the right. There is a nature board here detailing the construction and use of the "bell pits". Follow this path, veering left and downhill at the junction, continuing on until you reach the road.

Turn right, cross the road and, in 20 metres, take the path into the woodland. Head slightly uphill, take the right hand path at the junction and keep the pond on your left. The views will open up significantly now. Follow the path up the hill into the trees, take a sharp right at the top and you'll meet the Dudley Canal.

Cross the canal by the bridge, then turn left. Walk along until you see the bench on the right hand side. The path turns right here, by the bench, leading up the hill. It is through the grass and not always clear, so keep the tree line on your left. Swing round to the right at the top of the hill. You may see grazing animals here.

Hilltop to End
Hilltop to End

Start point: 52.4916 lat, -2.0937 long
End point: 52.48 lat, -2.0987 long

At the top of the hill, keep the trees on your left and follow the path through the grass. The trees to your left hide a view of Netherton Church. Continue on, straight down the hill, ignoring the paths to your right that lead back the way you came. Towards the bottom of the hill, there's a waymarker - turn left towards the school playing fields here.

Follow the path past the playing fields, then go through the metal kissing gate. The path heads slightly downhill, then comes to a stile by a road. Climb over the stile, turn right and follow the road. After the traffic lights, cross over and continue on down the road. The reservoir will be visible through the trees to your left. After 200m, bear left to follow the path around the reservoir. Follow this path for 350m. This will take you towards the sailing club gates - turn right here and the next section is a waymarked footpath through the trees to the right.

Go through the squeeze gate and follow the path downhill. After 300m, at the junction, turn right. Continue to follow the path straight on and, after a further 300m, go through the black metal gate and turn right to return to the car park.

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Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2014 by the author sammy_benbow and may not be reproduced without permission.


The information in this guide has been provided in good faith and is intended only as a guide, not a statement of fact. You are advised to check the accuracy of the information provided and should not use this guide for navigational directions nor should you rely on the accuracy of the weather forecast. You are advised to take appropriate clothing, footwear, equipment and navigational materials with you according to the current and possible weather and nature of the terrain. Always follow the country code and follow any additional warnings or instructions that may be available. Some walks may be very strenuous and you are advised to seek medical advice if you have any doubts as to your capability to complete the walk.

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