The Horcott Lakes Walk – 2.25 miles

Start at the Market Place, (with the Post Office on the right ) cross the A417 into Back Lane. This road immediately bends to the left followed by a junction. Take the right turn (marked as a public footpath) and follow this to another junction of footpaths where the right fork takes you across a bridge – known as Dilly’s bridge. Take this path over the bridge.

As soon as you have crossed the River Coln, take the left hand path and proceed along this tarmac path to where it forks at a wooden fence. Follow the left hand path, this will pass between various buildings before the drive to Horcott Farm. Turn right and follow the drive to the main road. Go straight across the main road and along the gravel track with the White House on the left. Just where this track joins a tarmac road is a kissing gate on the right. The Lakes walk start here.

There are three lakes – one large and two smaller ones. The paths that circle the lakes are well marked. There is a transverse path between the larger lake and the two smaller ones. Do not wander off the designated paths. At the completion of your walk leave by the kissing gate, retracing your steps back to the Market Place.

The lakes are flooded gravel pits. To the south of the lakes, large scale gravel extraction is still in progress. Bathing and rafting are strictly forbidden since flooded gravel pits with deep water right up to the edges are extremely hazardous. The lakes abound in course fish, and are well used by fishermen from the Horcott Angling Club.

There has been a great deal of natural regeneration of plant life around the edges of the lakes, providing an excellent habitat for many species of birds and small mammals, especially rabbits. The smallest lake with shallow areas has well developed beds of aquatic plants, e.g. bulrushes and sedges. These provide good cover for water fowl such as coots and moorhen. The lakes are well populated by water birds and in summer many insects such as dragonflies, damselflies, and butterflies fly around. Frogs, toads and grass snakes may also be seen.

Our thanks to ARC for their generous assistance in opening this permissive path to the general public.