Walks – January to April 2024

10am Monday 1st January – Our traditional New Year’s Day walk in Bushy Park
Leader: Diana Housley (07710 243636), diana@djhousley.plus.com

Start the new year off with some fresh air, convivial company and feathered friends.

Meet: Pheasantry car park. Toilets and café.

10am Monday 8th January – Warnham Nature Reserve morning walk followed by packed lunches and hot drinks.
Reserve open until 4pm Please advise Sandra if you intend to come. CAR SHARING

Leader: Sandra Hucks (07906 150407) sandra_hucks@hotmail.com


Perfect spot for a winter’s walk and a good place to get close to birds for photography from 5 hides and 2 viewing screens with feeding stations. Glass fronted Discovery Hide. Run by Horsham Council. Includes a large millpond, marshes, grassland, reed beds, hedges and woodlands. 168 species of bird recorded, including, Bullfinch, Marsh Tit, Nuthatch, wildfowl, Kingfisher and Woodpeckers. Winter species include Siskin, Redwing and sometimes Lesser Redpoll and Brambling.

Meet: Warnham Nature Reserve, Warnham Rd, Horsham, RH12 2RA
Entrance charge £3.50 N.B. cashless reserve – cards/contactless only 
Toilets. Café – hot drinks and snacks (no picnics on the reserve. Only in picnic area by café and inside café).

MINIBUS TRIP Saturday 13th January Abberton Reservoir, Essex MEMBERS ONLY
Leader: Rebecca Dunne
NB Early start Pick-ups – Teddington 7:15am Twickenham 7:20am Richmond Station 7:30am

An Essex Wildlife Trust site, near Colchester, of international importance for wildfowl. Up to 40,000 ducks, swans and geese visit each winter. Top 7 species: Wigeon, Teal, Mallard, Pochard, Tufted Duck, Coot and Black-headed Gull. Plus 100s of Shoveler, Gadwall, Goldeneye, Pintail and Great Crested Grebe. Good chance of Scaup, Great White Egret, Goosander and maybe Smew or other rarities such as divers and more unusual species of grebes, swans, geese and ducks.

There are hides but some of the best views are from the 2 exposed causeways which cross the huge reservoir so… come prepared for cold/wet/windy weather but fantastic views! Telescopes will be very helpful.
Entry charge – £2 voluntary donation. Further information essexwt.org.uk/nature-reserves/abberton
Own food not allowed in café. May be best to buy food in café – warm with panoramic view of reservoir.

9:30am Thursday 18th January Moor Green Lakes, Berkshire Long – morning CAR SHARING

Leader: Rebecca Dunne (07879 645971) rebecca9dunne@gmail.com Please advise Rebecca if you intend to come.
As a change from Wraysbury we will visit this well maintained 90-acre reserve and the adjoining gravel pits, north of the River Blackwater. Goosander are the reserve’s signature bird and logo with 50+ roosting in the area so we might see a few. We will start at Horseshoe Lake to look at winter ducks, and have a coffee, then drive 1.4 miles to the Moor Green Lakes car park. Winter ducks include up to 500 Wigeon plus Gadwall, Teal, Mallard, Shoveler, Tufted Duck and Coot. A few Goldeneye are likely. Winter flocks of Linnets and Meadow Pipits, possible Siskin and Redpoll in the alder trees along the river and Reed Bunting or Brambling on the feeders.
Access to the 2 private hides has been arranged. Further information and map mglg.org.uk
Meet: Horseshoe Lake public car park (next to Activity Centre), Mill Lane, Sandhurst, nearest postcode GU47 8JW
 Lake View Italian Café Toilets
Move on to: Moor Green Lakes car park, Lower Sandhurst Road, nearest postcode RG40 3TF (Blackwater View opposite).
No toilets.

10am Thursday 1st February Stockers Lake near Rickmansworth – morning walk
Leader: Dave Woods (07956 186879) d.woods48@hotmail.com Please let Dave know if you intend to come.

This beautiful nature reserve in the Colne Valley was developed from gravel pits and borders the Grand Union Canal. The walk will circuit Stockers Lake and its environs. It is particularly good for winter ducks including Pochard, Shoveler, Wigeon , Goldeneye and the possible chance of seeing Water Rail as well as Smew (an occasional winter visitor that was resident for a period last year). 
Large café where we can warm up afterwards. Toilets
Meet: By the Café in the Park, next to the car park, Rickmansworth Aquadrome, Frogmoor Lane, Rickmansworth, WD3 1NB 
Train: Rickmansworth station (1 mile). Bus: R1, R2 – Tesco stop (0.5 miles).

9:30am Thursday 8th February WWT London Wetland Centre – morning walk (Option to walk West route after coffee/lunch)
Leader: Christo Impey (Please let Sandra Hucks know if you intend to come sandra_hucks@hotmail.com 07906 150407)
LWC brings the countryside to London. The lakes, pools and gardens are home to a huge variety of wildlife. 180 bird species are recorded each year.
Meet: on the bridge outside the entrance – Queen Elizabeth Walk, Barnes SW13 9WT 
Non WWT members £15.40 (£13.90 concessions). Easily accessible by bus and rail; details on WWT website.

MINIBUS TRIP Sunday 11th February Titchfield Haven – Bring lunch – MEMBERS ONLY 

Leader: Rebecca Dunne (07879 645971) rebecca9dunne@gmail.com

This was our last minibus trip before the Lockdown and we are returning by popular demand. Since then the café and 2 hides have closed! The reserve covers 369 acres of the valley and mouth of the River Meon, on the shores of the Solent, in Hampshire. A mosaic of river, fen, pools, reedbeds and meadows with 6 easy to access hides + views over the Solent for possible Turnstones, Sanderling, Ringed Plover and Eider Ducks. Trip may include a stop off at Posbrook Floods at the inland end of the reserve if interesting birds are around.
Toilets Hot drinks machine, cold drinks. There is no longer a café and there is very limited indoor seating. Entry fee – Adults £6.50 Senior Citizens £5.50

9:30am Wednesday 14th February Richmond Park – morning walk

Leader: Phil Davies (07773 917410) davieskut@blueyonder.co.uk 

The largest and wildest of the Royal Parks, a National Nature Reserve, London’s biggest SSSI and a European Special Area of Conservation. Route will depend on what’s around but will include the Pen Ponds. Whatever the time of year there are always interesting things to find in the many varied habitats of the park. 

Meet: Pembroke Lodge carpark TW10 5HX. Nearest entrance Richmond Gate. Buses 65 and 371 stop near Richmond Gate. Toilets, café and shop. N.B. You cannot drive between Robin Hood Gate and Kingston Gate or enter via Sheen Gate.

10am Monday 19th February Home Park and The Long Water – morning walk

Leader: Diana Housley (07710 243636) diana@djhousley.plus.com 

Ancient parkland, supporting a remarkable mosaic of acid and neutral grassland, woodland and wetland habitats. 
Meet: Lion Gate, opposite entrance to Bushy Park on Hampton Court Road, East Molesey KT8 9DD 
Parking in Bushy Park, Diana Fountain car park. Toilets by playground in Bushy Park. 
Buses 111, 216, 411, 461, R68 stop nearby. 10 minutes’ walk from Hampton Court station.

10:00am Sunday 25th February Kempton Nature Reserve – morning walk
Leader: Diana Housley (07710 243636) diana@djhousley.plus.com Please advise Diana if you intend to come

A rare chance to visit this Site of Special Scientific Interest. From a decommissioned reservoir a purpose designed 50-acre wetland and wildlife oasis has sprung into life
RESTRICTED ACCESS SO PLEASE ARRIVE ON TIME.

Meet: at site entrance on sharp bend of Main St, TW13 6ST, next to Lindon Bennett School. Small car park inside or street parking. H25 bus stops outside. R70 stops 5 mins walk away at Hanworth War Memorial, junction of Main St & Green Lane. Compost toilets.

10am Tuesday 27th February Blashford Lakes – Bring lunch – CAR SHARING
Leader: Rebecca Dunne (07879 645971) rebecca9dunne@gmail.com Please advise Rebecca if you intend to come
Created from flooded gravel pits, in winter 5,000 wildfowl flock to Blashford Lakes from Scandinavia including gadwall, goldeneye, goosander and grebes. Large numbers of woodland birds visible on feeders from excellent Woodland Hide e.g. Siskin plus Redpoll and Brambling in good years. Good chance of Firecrest and Kingfisher.
Toilets in small visitor centre. No refreshment facilities.
Meet: Education centre car park, Ellingham Drove, Ringwood, Hampshire, nearest postcode BH24 3PJ (takes you to opposite side of road). Turn right off A338 Salisbury Road if coming from south.
Entry fee: £4 donation

MINIBUS TRIP Saturday 2nd March Arundel WWT and Rackham Viewpoint – Bring lunch – MEMBERS ONLY

Leader: Rebecca Dunne (07879 645971) rebecca9dunne@gmail.com Booking via Sandra Hucks (see above)
First stop Rackham Viewpoint for raptors and wildfowl on Amberley Wildbrooks. White-tailed Eagle sometimes seen here?
Rest of the day is a gentle visit to Arundel WWT. An easy access reserve with flat paths. Optional 20-minute boat safari £3. Shelducks and Shovelers overwinter, Firecrests and Goldcrests hide in the hedgerows, Redwing and Fieldfare move through the reserve and Marsh Harriers swoop overhead. Kingfishers may be investigating the nest bank. Cattle Egret, Peregrine, Water Rail, Snipe and Mediterranean Gull are possible.

Café with views over lake, visitor centre and toilets

WWT members free Non WWT members £13.59 (£12.27 concessions) 


9:30am Wednesday 13th March Rainham Marshes RSPB – Bring Lunch – CAR SHARING

Please advise Rebecca if you intend to come

Leaders: Rebecca Dunne (07879 645971) rebecca9dunne@gmail.com and Sandra Hucks


This superb reserve on the banks of the Thames teems with wildlife throughout the year. Our visit will include the Thames path to Aveley Bay. The circular walk has re-opened and Barn Owls have returned to their box!
 See website for seasonal highlights.
Meet – RSPB Rainham Marshes car park, New Tank Hill Rd, Purfleet, RM19 1SZ
Purfleet railway station is a 20-minute walk away (C2C line from Fenchurch Street) – full details on RSPB website.
Visitors’ centre with shop, café and toilets opens 9:30am.

MINIBUS TRIP Sunday 17th March Rye Harbour – Bring lunch – MEMBERS ONLY

Leader: Rebecca Dunne (07879 645971) rebecca9dunne@gmail.com

A lovely coastal reserve to visit at any time of year especially with its new Discovery Centre. A mosaic of shingle ridges, saline lagoons, saltmarsh, grazing marsh with ditches, ponds, gravel pits and reedbeds. 
Different lengths of walk available – all flat. 2-mile trail taking in 3 hides, saltmarshes and beach. 1 mile+ extension to Salt Pool and gravel pits. Longer 5½ mile trail to Castle Water. 

Visitor centre with shop, birding information and café (10am-4pm). Pub and cafe in the village. 
Toilets near car park and in visitor centre.

9:30 am Wednesday 20th March Bushy Park – morning walk
Leader: John Strachan (07392 533136) jsandse@live.co.uk
Bushy Park is the second largest of London’s Royal Parks. It has a rich range of habitats from woodland, wetland and ancient trees to acid grassland with its distinctive Yellow Meadow Ant mounds. The route taken will depend on what birds are around but there’s a good chance of Little Owls, Stonechats and Meadow Pipits as well as early Spring Migrants such as Chiffchaff, Blackcap and if we are lucky Wheatear.
Meet: near refreshment kiosk in Diana Fountain car park. Car entrance from Hampton Court Road, KT8 9DD      
Buses 111, 216, 411, 461, R68 stop nearby.    10 minutes’ walk from Hampton Court station.     
Toilets by the playground.   Refreshment kiosk.

10:15am Tuesday 26th March Great Bustard Group Project Site on Salisbury Plain – 2 hour Land Rover Trip FULLY BOOKED
£25 
18 places – 6 people per vehicle Must be booked in advance with Rebecca (£25 price helps support the project)
Drivers prepared to give lifts given priority booking. You must be able to climb up and down from the vehicle!
Afternoon: visit to nearby Winterbourne Downs RSPB to look for Stone Curlews – small car park so car sharing essential.
Leader: Rebecca Dunne (07879 645971) rebecca9dunne@gmail.com
Lunch: White Swan Pub in Enford Village (or packed lunches but no seating or toilets).
An opportunity to see the Great Bustards and learn about the project. Since 1998 the Great Bustard Group has re-established a self-sustaining, wild population of around 100 birds. We will have a guided Land Rover tour of the project site which offers a good chance of seeing the Bustards and other wildlife to be found on Salisbury Plain. 
NB they are wild birds so sightings cannot be guaranteed but the males should be leking at this time of year.
Film of what the trip involves on Youtube: ‘Great Bustard Visits’ Website: greatbustard.org 
Meet: Enford village hall (SN9 6DD). 16 miles north of Salisbury. Details once you are booked on event.
Toilets at village hall open from 10:15am Tiny museum and shop included in visit.
Afternoon: Winterbourne Downs RSPB, Station Rd, Newton Tony (Nearest postcode SP4 OHB but carry on up Station Rd)
 No toilets


9:30am Wednesday 10th April Family Walk in Richmond Park New initiative
Leader: Phil Davies (07773 917410) davieskut@blueyonder.co.uk
Everyone welcome, with or without children. 
Volunteers needed. If you are happy to share what the park has to offer with families, please contact Clare (07794 835571) claremillion@gmail.com
The largest and wildest of the Royal Parks, a National Nature Reserve, London’s biggest SSSI and a European Special Area of Conservation. Route will depend on what’s around but will include the Pen Ponds. Whatever the time of year there are always interesting things to find in the many varied habitats of the park e.g. Herons, Gulls, Cormorants, Woodpeckers, Tit flocks, Kestrels, Buzzards, Stonechats, Ducks, Geese, Kingfishers and seasonal migrants.
Meet: Pembroke Lodge carpark TW10 5HX. Nearest entrance Richmond Gate. Buses 65 and 371 stop near Richmond Gate. Toilets, café and shop. N.B. You cannot drive between Robin Hood Gate and Kingston Gate or enter via Sheen Gate.

10am Monday 15th April WWT London Wetland Centre – morning walk
(Option to walk the West route after coffee/lunch)
Leader: Christo Impey
LWC brings the countryside to London. The lakes, pools and gardens are home to a huge variety of wildlife. 180 bird species are recorded each year.
Meet: on the bridge outside the entrance – Queen Elizabeth Walk, Barnes SW13 9WT 
Non WWT members £15.40 (£13.90 concessions). Easily accessible by bus and rail; details on WWT website.

9:30 am Tuesday 23rd April,   Bushy Park   morning walk  Leader:   Diana Housley  (07710 243636), diana@djhousley.plus.com Meet: Pheasantry car park. Car entrance via Teddington Gate; buses stop at Hampton Court Gate.  Toilets and café. The walk should provide good opportunities to see and hear spring arrivals including Chiffchaff, Blackcap and maybe Whitethroat as well as plenty of residents such as woodpeckers, Stonechat and Nuthatch.

MINIBUS TRIP Saturday 27th April Pulborough Brooks RSPB – Bring lunch – MEMBERS ONLY
Leader: Rebecca Dunne (07879 645971) rebecca9dunne@gmail.com
This springtime visit should be a good time to hear and see Nightingales and other newly arrived migrants. On the wetland waders such as Lapwing will be displaying and nesting. Located within the Arun Valley with beautiful views across to the South Downs. A great variety of habitats including wet grassland, woodland, pools and scrapes. White-tailed Eagles bred near here last summer.
Toilets, shop and café at visitor centre – open 10-4pm

9:30am Tuesday 30th April Langstone Harbour – Bring lunch – CAR SHARING
Leader: Rebecca Dunne (07879 645971) rebecca9dunne@gmail.com Please advise Rebecca if you intend to come.
Langstone Harbour is a landscape of tidal mudflats, islands, saltmarsh, seagrass meadows and shingle. It is home to an internationally important number of breeding seabirds. We will visit the tiny RSPB Hayling Oyster Beds reserve then move on to Farlington Marshes 5 miles away. 
Hayling Oyster Beds RSPB – provides breeding habitat for Little, Common and Sandwich Terns and Black-headed and Mediterranean Gulls. At this time last year we had lots of Whimbrel and saw a Cuckoo fly in off the sea!
Farlington Marshes – 2½ mile flat path follows the sea wall (but you could just walk a section of this) giving, sweeping views across Langstone Harbour and back across the grazing marshes and saline lagoons on the northern shore of Langstone Harbour. A good place for migrants such as wheatear and whinchat. Good for bearded tits.
Meet: The Ship pub car park, Langstone Rd, PO9 1RD (just before Langstone Bridge onto Hayling Island). Public toilets.
Farlington Marshes Eastern Road, Farlington (nearest postcode PO6 1UN). Car park entrance is on waterfront, between A27 westbound exit and A2030 exit to Portsmouth seafront. No toilets at reserve but nearby at Sainsbury’s just north on the A2030 and garage nearby.