Local Walks

A shorter walk starting from Minchinhampton. It will probably take no more than two hours and will vary in length from 2 to 5 miles (3 to 8 km) - suitable for a morning or afternoon expedition. 

We were back together again, after the lockdowns, with a good turn-out and good weather for a walk to Stuart Foulkes Nature Reserve, lead by Ros - primarily to look at the rare Meadow Clary. (The Box Meadows nature reserve is one of only a few sites in the UK where this rare plant can be found.)

Entering the reserve
Meadow Clary
Meadow Clary

We descended down to Iron Mills Common, where the experts had a long, and I suspect unresolved, discussion about which species of Milkwort we were seeing, and unusual site for Bird's-nest Orchids and several butterfly sightings, including Adonis Blues, Chalkhill Blues and Brown Argus. Return via Scar Hill and the Stone Mines revealed that the Lizard Orchid may have reappeared on a former known site.Adonis BlueAdonis Blue

Brown Argus on Milkwort
Brown Argus on Milkwort
Sainfoin on Iron Mills Common
Sainfoin on Iron Mills Common

Misletoe time! Join us for a Christmas Eve walk looking for Mistletoe on our Common. 10:30am meet at the Reservoir car park (Minch. side).

This walk involves descending to the Thames and Severn Canal from Rodborough Common, which runs into Stroud from the East, and then climbing back again (about 675ft, 210m). Although only 6km in length (4m) it is definitely for those who wish to be a little more energetic. However, you will be rewarded by a surprising variety of scene and some interesting wildlife observation opportunities. In Spring there are usually find fine displays of orchids in the open stretches of this Common which is also noted for its invertebrates, including the rather rare "Duke of Burgundy" butterfly. The canal is mainly derelict, but in the process of being restored, working from Stroud eastwards. (The Stroudwater Navigation, which runs into Stroud from the West, has already seen a great deal of restoration out to Eastington.)

We must admit to finding the overgrown channel and banks more interesting from a wildlife viewpoint than the restored sections. This walk covers part of the canal that is next on the schedule for restoration, so do the walk before the changes occur. There are, however, several sections of this old canal that are worth walking, all the way through to beyond the Sapperton tunnel, which we will no doubt document on this website in time.

{mosmap kml='http://minchwildwalks.org.uk/joomla30/images/kml/WalkMap/rodborough_common_to_stroudwater_canal.kml'| overview='1'|mapType='satellite'}

Try this festive season walk, if the weather ever allows. The walk should take about two hours, moving briskly to keep warm. There are no styles and although the tracks over the commons can have "soft" going in places after wet weather, this is not a walk where you need wellies to wade through mud.

Dogs' Christmas Tree on Rodborough Common

Dog walkers who use Rodborough Common have for many years decorated one of the tree with dog-to-dog greetings cards (!) and baubles. Since our children were small, the tree has always been a traditional target for a walk as close as possible to Christmas Day, when weather allows. The decorations usually appear by the weekend before Christmas. Although the return half of the walk is mostly road walking, the lanes used are normally quiet and provide good views over the valley - and not without wildlife interest.