Woodland and wildlife

Deer on heathland around Hollesley

Deer on heathland around Hollesley - Credit: Archant

Richard Tyson follows a route through unspoilt countryside

Route of the woodland and wildlife walk

Route of the woodland and wildlife walk - Credit: Archant

This walk takes in sandy tracks and heathland around Hollesley and Shottisham. It starts opposite the parking place, where you will see a “restricted byway” sign; join this path, which heads towards a sandy track. Go straight over the track, bearing a little left, to walk alongside a horse paddock. Bear a little left again, beside a hedge, continuing until you reach Tarmac. Turn right along this residential road, which soon becomes a pleasant sandy lane. In 10 minutes you see a valley in front, with some ponds: now the route goes left at a gate. This is a narrow path but it soon opens out. Turn right and in 150 yards cross a footbridge before a metal stile. Here the right of way continues diagonally across the field to a second metal stile. A gate leads to your path, which is the one going uphill on grass between two arable areas. Past the top you bear a little right to a wooden gate, then keep straight on a drive to a Tarmac road.

Turn left down this road (Lodge Road). If you want a shorter walk, go straight ahead here.

Lodge Road has grass verges for walkers. Go straight past a junction, then 12 minutes from the last gravel section and just past Coronation Drive you take the bridleway to the right. After going between a fence and a hedge the B1083 is reached. Continue in the same general direction by going right, then in 50 yards taking the path to the left beside the hedge. After 200 yards a waymark points diagonally right across the field and you should head for a broken pipe which sticks up at 45 degrees at a hedge corner.

Look ahead. Your next objective is the bungalow up by the trees. To reach it, follow the line of fence posts, keeping left of the pipe, and descend gently towards trees with open heath (which is open access land) on your right. Go up a sandy track near the trees, then pass the bungalow and take the “restricted byway” track opposite, beside some pine trees. A covey of partridge erupted beside me here and soon I spotted a small herd of deer.

Reach a road. The direct route is straight ahead but I decided to visit the recently-revived Sorrel Horse pub, which is five minutes to the left. If not visiting, go ahead and after passing a track coming from the left go a little right on a track across the field. Next, bear right on a sandy track, towards a cottage (Bussock). At the first junction go left, but only 30 yards further you turn right, passing the cottage on your right. Follow the track (not exactly as on the map) and pass Bussock Barn (farm buildings). Ascend a small hill and, five minutes after a change of hedge side, leave the main track, bearing right towards the pink cottage now on the left. Turn right beside a weeping willow, towards a gap in a hedge. Go straight through the woodland (ignore horse routes left and right). Continue ahead, veer right and turn right where a path crosses in front. I surprised another herd of deer resting among the patches of heath and they ran off and eyed me from the shelter of some trees. Follow the path, which opens out to a track at Poplar Park riding centre, and 100 yards further on the left you will find the path you used at the start.

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