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Home Farm Woodland Trail

There are currently 4 comments and 2 photos online for this walk.

Home Farm Woodland Trail
Author: Claire, Published: 25 Sep 2015 Walk Rating:star1 Home Farm Woodland Trail Hampshire Walking Guidestar1 Home Farm Woodland Trail Hampshire Walking Guidestar1 Home Farm Woodland Trail Hampshire Walking Guidestar1 Home Farm Woodland Trail Hampshire Walking Guidestar1 Home Farm Woodland Trail Hampshire Walking Guide
Hampshire, Alton
Walk Type: Woodland
Home Farm Woodland Trail
Length: 3 miles,  Difficulty: boot Home Farm Woodland Trail Hampshire Walking Guide
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A 3 mile circular woodland trail exploring Home Farm Wood near the hamlet of Burkham in Hampshire. As the name suggests, the site was once the farm for the local estate of Burkham Manor. Today, it is a nature reserve managed by the Woodland Trust and is a charming combination of open grassland glades and broadleaf woodland.

The walk has just a few gentle gradients and the paths can be very muddy so boots are a must and wellingtons are recommended in the winter months. There are no stiles or steps on route, but you will need to negotiate a number of kissing gates. Dogs are welcome in the woodland, indeed it is a very popular dog walking spot. A small herd of docile cattle are used to graze the site as part of the conservation. The cattle are only ever in one section of the woodland at a time, and this will be marked with signs, so if you do see them (you may not as they can be very elusive!) please keep a safe distance, especially with dogs. There are no toilets or other facilities on the route. Approximate time 1.5 hours.

Home Farm Wood is located between the hamlet of Burkham and the village of Bentworth, about 4 miles north-west of the town of Alton. The woodland has two free car parks, and this walk starts at the larger one which is located on Spain Lane. Take the A339 south from Basingstoke and follow it down to a point about a mile south of the village of Southrope. Turn right (signed to Burkham and Bradley) and then turn left at the small T-junction. You will find the car park further along on the right (with a 2m height restriction barrier). The nearest post code is GU34 5RT, but this will take you to the northern end of Spain Lane, whilst the car park is at the southern end.

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Walk Sections

Start to Secondary Car Park
Start to Secondary Car Park

Start point: 51.1781 lat, -1.0586 long
End point: 51.1701 lat, -1.0645 long

Standing in the Spain Lane car park with your back to the vehicle entrance, walk directly ahead through the metal kissing gate and then take the path left (at about 9 o’clock). The path leads you steadily uphill, skirts a young woodland copse on your right and passes a red-topped waymarker post also on your right. (We will be following these red waymarker posts all the way round this route, but it’s best not to rely on them for navigation as they are a little intermittent!).

Stay ahead on the path as it leads you downhill to reach a pinch point between a hawthorn hedge on your right and a fence line with gates on your left. Bear right at this point, taking the path diagonally across the open grassland (between 1 and 2 o’clock).

Home Farm was bought by the Woodland Trust in 1991. The rich mosaic of grassland, scrub and woodland create a range of valuable habitats for wildlife. The open grassland areas are rich in wildflowers, with bird’s foot trefoil, meadow buttercup and occasional pyramidal orchids all present. In spring and summer bees and butterflies enjoy the nectar, whilst in autumn and winter the grassland attracts large flocks of sparrows enjoying the seed bounty that this habitat provides.

As this path leads you steadily uphill, take time to enjoy the views which are opening up to your left and behind. At the far corner, pass through the metal kissing gate and cross over the quiet tarmac lane to enter the smaller secondary car park for Home Farm Wood.

Secondary Car Park to Bench
Secondary Car Park to Bench

Start point: 51.1701 lat, -1.0645 long
End point: 51.1697 lat, -1.0683 long

With your back to the road, enter the woodland through the tall wooden kissing gate on your right. Pass the information boards on your right and after just a short distance, take the first turning on the left. The stone path soon dwindles to a grass path, swinging steadily right and running under a set of power lines.

Ignore any side paths and the main path continues to swing right, leaving the power lines and leading you to the next tall kissing gate. Pass through this and then take the path which dog-legs through the trees ahead to reach a bench and a red-topped waymarker post at the edge of the next section of open grassland.

Bench to Coppice Junction
Bench to Coppice Junction

Start point: 51.1697 lat, -1.0683 long
End point: 51.1736 lat, -1.0688 long

Walk ahead, passing the waymarker post immediately on your left, and take the obvious wide mown path through the centre of the grassland. You will come to the next waymarker post at a fork in the path, with a belt of trees and blackthorn (laden with sloes in the autumn) on the right. Take the right-hand branch and a few paces later you will reach another subtle fork. Stay on the same path (the left-hand branch this time) to continue through the centre of the grassland heading steadily uphill.

Further along, the path skirts alongside another tree belt on the right. Follow the path as it swings right, with the line of the woodland edge now running on the right (awash with bluebells in the late spring). Pass a disused metal kissing gate on the right and the path will eventually lead you to a crossroads with a tall wooden kissing gate ahead.

Do NOT take the gate ahead, instead turn right, passing another waymarker post on your left. At the end of this section of path you will come to a junction with a tall kissing gate and an old coppiced tree on your left and a wire fence ahead.

Coppice Junction to Tarmac Lane
Coppice Junction to Tarmac Lane

Start point: 51.1736 lat, -1.0688 long
End point: 51.1752 lat, -1.0633 long

Turn right for a few paces, then bear left through an old tall wooden kissing gate to join a stone track. A few paces along you will come to a fork. Bear left, following a path under power lines and straight ahead at the crossroads to become a wide grass track between trees (passing the next waymarker post on your right).

Further along the path swings right and then leads you to the next fork (with a waymarker post on the left). Take the right-hand branch. A few paces later keep ahead at the crossroads, on a path that bears left. Pass the next waymarker post on the right and you will come to another fork. Bear left and follow the path past a small bench on the left. At the end of the path, pass through the tall kissing gate ahead and continue for a few paces to reach a junction with a tarmac lane.

Tarmac Lane to End
Tarmac Lane to End

Start point: 51.1752 lat, -1.0633 long
End point: 51.1782 lat, -1.0586 long

Turn left for a few paces (taking care of occasional traffic) and then turn right through the gap alongside the wide wooden gate. Follow the stone track which leads you into the next section of woodland. After just a few yards, fork left through a tall wooden kissing gate. Keep ahead for a few paces and then take the first grass path on the left.

Follow this path meandering through the trees. Take time, if you haven’t already, to appreciate the diverse range of trees that make up the young woodland including oak, ash, beech, holly, field maple, silver birch, whitebeam, wayfaring tree, hazel, hawthorn, blackthorn, guelder rose, spindle and dogwood. The number and range of bird species visiting and nesting has increased in recent years. Several owl and kestrel boxes were installed in 2000 and barn owls are now regularly seen.

Eventually, as you emerge from the trees, beautiful views open up across to the right. Keep ahead on the obvious grass path and, just before you reach a wire fence ahead, the path swings right to follow the wire fence (running on your left). Where the fence on the left ends, simply keep ahead on the grass path through the centre of the grassland.

Keep ahead through the gap within the hawthorn hedgerow. Immediately beyond this hedgerow, take the left-hand branch of the fork and follow the wide grass path steadily downhill, enjoying the lovely views ahead. At the bottom of the slope, a metal kissing gate leads you back into the Spain Lane car park where the walk began.

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Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2015 by the author clairesharpuk and may not be reproduced without permission.

4 comments for "Home Farm Woodland Trail"

Lovely walk, great for the dog! But not in winter, went in Feb on a sunny day-however has been a pretty wet year so far-was so muddy! Really difficult in places due to waterlogged fields and deep mud! Would recommend going in spring/summer!

By Sophierees on 15 Feb 2018

This is a really lovely walk especially in the spring and summer but really, really muddy and wet after a lot of rain so maybe avoid in the depths of winter unless it's dry and cold.

By Loopylisa on 22 Oct 2017

+1 Great for dogs, 1 field with cows but they were far far away.

By injuryian on 02 Oct 2015

This was a truly lovely walk. The pictures fail to show the diverse habitats, colours and wildlife that you will enjoy on this walk. Our dog loved it too as she was able to stay off the lead for large parts of the walk.

By Richard on 25 Sep 2015

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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2 gallery images for "Home Farm Woodland Trail"

5083_0Richard1443209834 Home Farm Woodland Trail Hampshire Walking Guide Image by: Richard
Uploaded: 25 Sep 2015
The solar farm that can be seen in the third section of the walk.
5083_1Richard1443209834 Home Farm Woodland Trail Hampshire Walking Guide Image by: Richard
Uploaded: 25 Sep 2015
We saw a large flock of sparrows near the end of the walk. They were feasting on seeds in the hedgerows and in the grass meadows.



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