12 July 2019: Mill Green to Barrow Farm
Start point grid reference: TL 641 018GPX file
This morning ten of us met at The Viper at Millgreen Common. It is next to the road in the middle of the wood. The pub car park is opposite.
Most of the walk was on wide metalled paths. From the pub we turned right to walk south-west along the road. There was quite a lot of traffic, so we had to get on to the verge a number of times. There were several paths leading off into the wood on our right but we ignored those and turned right on to the metalled Mapletree Lane, which is part of the long-distance St Peter’s Way path.
Then the route took us along Mapletree Lane, through Birch Spring (which is actually a wood), and across Blackmore Road into Parsons Spring (ditto). The paths through the woods can get very muddy but because of the recent dry spell the going was firm. We remarked on the lack of wildlife.
We turned right just before the path came to the open fields. That took us through the wood until immediately before the path met Blackmore Road again. As we always do, we stopped there for coffee.
The path the other side goes past the buildings at Barrow Farm, which are occupied by Riding for the Disabled. As we passed a small group led out two horses that were being ridden by disabled people. They followed us down the path but didn’t catch us up before we turned off.
The path leads into Metsons Lane. There is a large wood yard at the end, with piles of cut wood stacked up along the right-hand side of the lane.
At the end of the lane we turned right into Ingatestone Road. There is a sign outside the buildings on the eastern side of the road proclaiming that they are “The Entire Farm”, which is an intriguing name.
We continued along Ingatestone Road for a while, eventually turning right across a field and into Deerside Wood. Our leader said she saw a rabbit at this point but, on being asked about it, admitted she wasn’t sure whether it was a rabbit or a hare.
The path took us across a stream, into Stoneymore Wood and back to the road by Millgreen Common. Here we turned left to walk back to the pub. Before we got there we were delighted to see a herd of deer running through the wood on our right.