Great Yeldham Footpath Walks,
9a: Poole Farm, Bloom's Lane and Cobbs Lakes, clockwise

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Walk 9a Route map

About 2¼ hours. About 4½ miles.

This walk includes two lengths of permissive paths with access scheduled to end on 30 September 2012. Visit the DEFRA website.

Start: Great Yeldham Village Green.

Go up Leather Lane. Shortly beyond where Butlers Way branches off on the right, there is a length of hedge on the right followed by an opening with a garage.

Cross over by the concrete footpath sign and go up the path which is to the left of the garage. It is a narrow path between trees on each side. Follow the path ahead as far as you can ignoring unofficial branches off to the right into the next field. The path then goes right leaves and continues on the field side of the hedge for a very short distance to a footbridge.

Cross the footbridge and turn right. Follow the farm track with the hedge on your right. Follow the track where the boundary first turns left ignoring the gap on the right, follow it as it bends right and left again before going through a gap on the right to a farm road with a concrete slab on the left, and then with hedges on both sides. Follow this short, straight track to a gap just before the gate at the end.

Go through the gap and down the middle of a cultivated field aiming for a gap at the bottom with a post just visible from a distance. This and the next field are often left for some time after ploughing or cultivating before the path is restored. It is heavy clay soil and can be very muddy. Cross a footbridge into the next field and continue up the middle of the field to the corner of the wood at the top.

Go ahead along a wide grass track passing the wood on your left. At the far side of the next field go right through a kissing gate, over a footbridge and left over an unmade farm track. This track can be very muddy. Where the track joins a hard farm road go right to Poole Farm.

As you enter Poole Farm yard go left, then right and right again round the buildings. As you approach the yard exit look to the side of the brick barn to your right with "Whitlock's Chaff Works" embossed in specially made tiles built into the wall. Go left to leave the yard and go ahead to the main road.

At the road go right a short distance and then cross over left and go into the entrance to Orchard Ley which is the start of Blooms Lane. At the first fork in the lane take the left fork and go ahead up the hill. In winter this can be made very muddy by horses. Towards the end of the lane you will pass Redbeard's Wood on your left. In spring it has large areas of Bluebells in flower.

As you emerge from the high hedges on both sides of Bloom's Lane go ahead up the side of the next field with the hedge on your left. This can be very muddy from horses, but soon turns into a broad grassy strip. Level with a gap in the hedge on your left is a way-marking post, turn sharply back to your right and go diagonally down across the field towards a way-marking post by the ditch. Cross the ditch and go left down the hill passing a wood on your left.

At the bottom of the field go right without crossing the ditch, along the bottom of this field, and over a wooden footbridge into another field, continue along the bottom of this field.

Go left through the hedge at the far side of the field, down into a Willow plantation. Go right to follow the same hedge in the same direction but on the lower side. Continue ahead along thehigher side of the willow plantation until you are level with a stile on your right, go left down the slope to the wooden footbridge.

After heavy rain the ground can be covered with water over a foot deep.

Follow the path to a wooden footbridge and go ahead through a thicket to a large fishing lake. Taking care not to disturb fishermen, go left round the end of the lake. As you emerge from the thicket surrounding the lake go right at a way-marking post into a field - not up the green lane ahead. Go a short way ahead with the hedge on your right and go over a stile into the gound surrounding the lake.

You have entered a Countryside Stewardship area of public access which conveniently links a gap in our network of paths. Keep ahead with the fence on your left, passing Cobbs Lake on your right. Cross the next stile in the fence, and continue on the other side of the fence to the end of the meadow.

Leave the meadow through a pair of gates and go left up the lane to the Toppesfield Road.

At Toppesfield Road go right past one house. Cross over and go up the hard road onto the old railway station yard which is now a Highways depot. This route was recently conceded as a public right of way. Go left round the outside depot's fencing, into the Sports Ground, right and left, still beside the depot's fence and to a path crossing in front of you. Go right and follow the path down into the village with a field on the left and houses on the right.

Go ahead, ignore the unofficial path joining from along the old railway track on the right. Continue with a field on the left and houses on the right.

Join Great Yeldham High Street from down the concrete steps beside the Police Station. (To avoid the steps go through the gap on the right side to Whitlock Drive, down onto the High Street, left, then right to the Village Green.)

Cross the road to return to the village green.

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6 Apr 2013