This circular trail explores the Moor Green Lakes Nature Reserve and surrounding woodland of the Blackwater Valley. Careful restoration of gravel workings has created a haven for wildlife in a series of small lakes beside Blackwater River. The walk is along established and well maintained paths and is suitable for the whole family.
The trail starts at the Horseshoe Lake Activity Centre. Follow the A321 to Sandhurst. Turn into Lower Church Road by the church. Follow the road for about half a mile. Turn left at the T-junction (Mill Lane) and the entrance to the site is on the right after a short distance.
From the car park follow the gravel path to the corner of the lake. Just before you reach Mill Lane, turn right and keep to the Blackwater Valley footpath that runs between Blackwater River on the left and the lake on the right.
At the end of Moor Green Lakes Nature Reserve, and after passing the footbridge over the river on your left, turn right. The path divides and runs both sides of the hedgerow. For views across the nature reserve and for access to a viewing station, take the path on the right.
At the end of the lake continue through the car park and then turn right onto the lane. After the post box and before the right bend in the road, turn left up the side of Hall Farm. Keep to the track as it climbs steadily. On the left of the track is Finchampstead Ridges, beautiful National Trust woodland that can be explored. Our trail continues along the track to the summit of the hill and then turns immediately right to traverse the top of the ridge.
Follow the footpath out of the woods as it descends first between two open fields and then along the edge of Coalpit Copse. Bear left through the woods and descend gently to the lane. Turn left along the lane and then right onto the footpath at the sharp left bend in the lane. Keep to the right side of the fields, cross over the road and return to the car park beside the lake.
Moor Green Lakes Nature Reserve
The reserve, opened in 1993, has been established through the careful restoration of gravel workings. Covering 36 hectares it is an important site for breeding and wintering birds and there are three lakes with gravel islands that attract wildfowl for breeding and loafing. A number of scrapes have also been created to attract wading birds. Over 200 species of bird have been recorded in this area of the Valley. The lakes are fringed by Willow, Ash, Hazel, Maple and scrub and the northern and western edges of the reserve are managed as grassland which contains a wide variety of native meadow plants.