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Yateley Common Pond Trail

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Yateley Common Pond Trail
Author: clairesharpuk, Published: 29 Mar 2016 Walk rating : Rating:star1 Yateley Common Pond Trail Walking Guidestar1 Yateley Common Pond Trail Walking Guidestar1 Yateley Common Pond Trail Walking Guidestar0 Yateley Common Pond Trail Walking Guidestar0 Yateley Common Pond Trail Walking Guide
Hampshire, Yateley
Walk Type: Woodland
Yateley Common Pond Trail
Length: 3 miles,  Difficulty: boot Yateley Common Pond Trail Walking Guide
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A 3 mile circular walk around Yateley Common in Hampshire. Yateley Common is a mix of woodland and heathland and home to a wealth of wildlife. This route leads you around several of the paths and bridleways through the heart of the common, discovering the three main ponds within the common.

The walk has just a few gentle gradients. The paths and bridleways can get muddy at times so good boots are a must, or wellies in the winter months. There are no gates or stiles on route, but you will need to negotiate a few steps and some boardwalks. Dogs are welcome on the common throughout the year, but please keep them on the paths from March to July in order to protect the ground nesting birds. Approximate time 1.5 hours.

The walk starts and finishes at the free Gravel Pit Pond Car Park which is accessed directly off the A30, just west of Blackwater. The post code GU17 0AE will take you to the roundabout at the edge of Blackwater, between the A30 and the B3272. From this point, take the A30 west (away from Blackwater) and follow it for just 0.5 miles. Immediately after the sign which marks 200yds to the carriageway narrowing, turn right (crossing the central reservation) to enter the car park (via the 2m height barrier).

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Walk Sections

Start to Stroud Lane Car Park
Start to Stroud Lane Car Park

Start point: 51.3275 lat, -0.7978 long
End point: 51.3262 lat, -0.8059 long

Standing in the car park, with your back to the vehicle entrance, you will see a wide vehicle track ahead. Do NOT take this, instead walk diagonally left (at about 10 o’clock) across the parking area to join the narrower path between wooden bollards, which runs parallel to the vehicle track across to your right. A few paces along you will see the first of the common ponds on your left, Gravel Pit Pond. This was created when material was quarried from this site to build the A30.

Keep directly ahead on the narrow path, with the pond on your left. As you emerge into an open grass clearing, turn left and follow the path closest to the pond on your left. Stay ahead with this furthest left path which leads you past a bridleway (blue arrow) waymarker, through a small section of trees and then out to become a sandy path lined with gorse bushes within the open heathland.

Yateley Common covers 193 hectares and is a mix of woodland and heathland. The heathland areas support rare specialised wildlife including nightjars, Dartford warblers, woodlark and many lizards. Several species of orchids can be found in the grassland areas and the woodland banks host carpets of bluebells and wood anemones. Keep your eyes peeled up to the skies, as you will often see red kites and buzzards soaring overhead.

At the far side of the heathland, the path leads you to a gravel access drive for the Stroud Lane parking area. Walk straight ahead, under the vehicle height barrier to reach the circular car park, (with a noticeboard across to your right).

Stroud Lane Car Park to Gorse Wide Fork
Stroud Lane Car Park to Gorse Wide Fork

Start point: 51.3262 lat, -0.8059 long
End point: 51.3252 lat, -0.8196 long

Go straight ahead through the parking area to join the narrow path directly in front of you. Follow this narrow path meandering through the gorse and woodland for some distance, following two sections of boardwalks along the way. Just after the second boardwalk, you will pass a paddock up on the bank to your right and then reach a three-way fork. Take the middle branch, which leads you uphill, past a wooden pylon (on your right) and on to reach a fork at the edge of heath.

Take the left-hand branch, along the edge of the heath, and keep ahead at the next crossroads. NOTE: This path runs fairly close to the A30 (on your left) so keep children and dogs close. As you draw level with a low brick building on your right, stay with the main bridleway which swings right to reach a small fork. Take the left-hand branch (into woodland).

The subtle path leads you steadily downhill, bearing left to pass through a linear bank of oak trees. Keep this linear bank of 8 oak trees on your right and maintain this direction to reach the next bridleway waymarker. (This section can get quite muddy, hence the number of smaller paths each side!). Join the sandy path marked with a blue arrow, lined with gorse bushes. You will reach a wide fork with gorse bushes ahead.

Gorse Wide Fork to Jesse Cottage
Gorse Wide Fork to Jesse Cottage

Start point: 51.3252 lat, -0.8196 long
End point: 51.3286 lat, -0.8218 long

Keep left at this fork, and follow the bridleway steadily uphill. At the crossroads turn right, as marked by the blue arrow. Pass under the power lines and, 40 metres later, turn left (marked with the blue arrow).

As you reach a crossroads with a long straight path, go straight ahead to join the narrow bridleway leading you through the woodland. Keep straight ahead at the next junction and you will merge with a vehicle track, passing Jesse Cottage on your right.

Jesse Cottage to Heathlands Cemetry
Jesse Cottage to Heathlands Cemetry

Start point: 51.3286 lat, -0.8218 long
End point: 51.3304 lat, -0.8176 long

Just a few paces beyond the cottage, fork right to join a woodland path and you will emerge to a grass clearing. Walk straight ahead through this grass area, passing a parking area on your left and the next (and largest) pond, Wyndham Pool, on your right.

This man-made pond is thought to have started life as a fish pond. In the early 1900s it was used as a bathing pool and today it is used for fishing. The ponds and lakes on the common are home to a number of scarce dragonflies and damselflies including the black darter and the downy emerald. Six species of water beetle have also been identified.

At the end of the pond, turn right down the wooden steps to join the path which runs along the top of Wyndham Pool. Beyond the pond, keep ahead for a few paces to reach a major fork. Take the right-hand branch (with the blue arrow). Keep ahead at the crossroads and you will emerge to another parking area, alongside Heathlands Cemetery.

Heathlands Cemetry to Stroud Pond
Heathlands Cemetry to Stroud Pond

Start point: 51.3304 lat, -0.8176 long
End point: 51.3268 lat, -0.8086 long

Walk ahead for a few paces (towards the cemetery gates) and then turn right to join the wide track leading you back into the heathland. Keep ahead on this main wide track for some distance, passing paddocks across to your left. Follow this path until you reach a junction with three wooden pylons at its centre.

Turn left immediately before the pylons and then, immediately beyond them, dog-leg right then left to join the heathland path which follows the power lines (running directly under them). At the end, you will come to a staggered T-junction (which you may recognise from the outward leg). Turn left (back the way you came from earlier), passing a wooden pylon on your left.

Simply follow this path through the trees (at this stage it doesn’t matter which branch you take as they soon all merge back together). A fenced paddock begins on top of the slope to your left, stay on the path closest to this fenced paddock (ignoring the boardwalk path to the right). Continue ahead to reach a junction of multiple paths. Walk ahead for a few more paces to reach the third pond, Stroud Pond, which is used as an educational resource for pond dipping.

Stroud Pond to End
Stroud Pond to End

Start point: 51.3268 lat, -0.8086 long
End point: 51.3278 lat, -0.7978 long

When you have finished at this final pond, turn round and walk back a few paces into the junction of multiple paths (between the holly bushes). Turn left to join the sandy bridleway leading you uphill. Stay with the main path ahead, which levels off and leads you through woodland. You will emerge out to the gravel access track, Stroud Road. (You will recognise this junction from the outward leg).

Ignore the private driveway (first left), instead take the second left to follow the main vehicle access track. As the track bears slightly right, turn right onto a heathland path. Follow the obvious path through the open heath to reach a crossroads. Go straight ahead and after just 20 metres you will come to a second, smaller crossroads. Turn right and follow this path across the heath and through some woodland to reach the next crossroads, marked with blue arrows.

Turn right and then keep ahead, crossing a vehicle track to enter the open grass area alongside Gravel Pit Pond. Cross the grass at about 11 o’clock to join the path running immediately to the left of the pond. This path will lead you directly back to the car park where the walk began.

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Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2016 by the author clairesharpuk and may not be reproduced without permission.


1 responses to "Yateley Common Pond Trail"

Watch your step, lots of dog poo!

By Phil136 on 2016-08-21 22:14:21

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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