Haydon Way Wood
Get walking in the Heart of England Forest
Come and explore Haydon Way Wood at the Heart of England Forest by following this trail. This easy-to-follow walk will lead you to a wild flower meadow through to a beautiful skyline view near Windmill Hill – you’re bound to fall in love with it just like we have.
Take a stroll through wild flower meadows and see the scale of the Heart of England Forest for yourself.
Distance: 1.5 miles
Start / finish: Haydon way wood car park.
Nearest postcode: B80 7EX
Terrain: Clearly marked woodland trail. Easy going – but can get muddy in the winter!
- Head due south out of the car park. Under the second set of overhead power cables turn right and follow them to the bridge.
- Cross over the bridge and continue on. The wide open area in front of you is a wild flower meadow sown in 2014. Species include birdsfoot trefoil, knapweed, yarrow, corn cockle and vetches.
- After about 100m turn right across the meadow and follow the cross ride to the north-west.
- Go through the gap in the hedge and walk under another powerline. Continue straight on up the slope along the ride gently turning to left.
- Head down the slope and over the ditch. This field has been planted with over 6,500 hazel and will become hazel coppice cut on a 5-6 year rotation.
- After a short climb pass through the gap in the hedge into another open area. Continue straight on and turn right along the woodland edge for about 100m.
- At this point, take a sharp left down the slope. The view in front of you up to Windmill Hill on the skyline makes up part of the Heart of England Forest – you will be able to see the forest as it grows before you.
- Head down the slope and follow this meandering ride below the paddock. Ignore the public footpath that crosses the ride and keep heading south with a slight rise and bend to the right. Our route now takes a sharp left turn heading across and then down the slope gently curving to the left.
- Head under the powerline and trough the gateway. You will notice a natural pond on your right stood over by several oak trees. Look out for dragonflies and frogs here!
- Follow the public footpath east through the trees, pass through the open space and fork right at the bench. With the wider open space on your right drop down through the hedge towards the River Arrow.
- Heading left (upstream) along the river there are opportunities to stop here and contemplate for a while – maybe you’ll spot a kingfisher. This is a super spot for a picnic.
- Keep heading north with the woodland on your left and river on the right, crossing the public footpath again. Now we are heading towards the large oak tree. This tree is on the boundary of two parishes and was once on the river edge.
- As you head away from the river to the oak you are walking on the parish boundary along the old river bank. The course of the river was altered in the early 1900’s, as to why we are not quite sure but maybe to remove an oxbow lake. Turn right just past the oak and head north to the car park.
LOOK OUT FOR…
WILD FLOWERS – We love wild flowers – it’s just as well because we aren’t allowed to plant trees directly under the power lines in the area! To make up for this the National Grid have sponsored the wild flower meadows you’ll see along Haydon Way.
CRAIG – If you spot our Forest Warden out-and-about on your stroll through the woods, be sure to say a big “Hello”!