Wildlife Walk 9 – Thaxted to Sweetings Meadow reserve
A Circular Walk of around 8 miles from Thaxted to EWT Reserve Sweetings Meadow, Lindsell
This walk starts from the free public car park at Margaret Street in Thaxted, with the car park behind you turn left up Margaret Street and at the junction with Guelphs Lane turn right down the hill.
Turn left into Copthall Lane and follow this minor road past Walnut Tree Meadow, follow it through a left and right turn and keep on going forward as it becomes a public footpath for quite a considerable distance, through the ‘green tunnel’ and over the footbridge. Follow the field edge until you come to the junction with a footpath through the wood on your right, cross over the bridge and follow this path through the wood and then along the field edge until you meet the road to Little Sampford.
Turn right at the road and walk back towards Thaxted for about 100m and immediately after passing Blunts Farm turn left into Black Lane, follow this bridleway until it meets the Bardfield Road and turn right, again back towards Thaxted, this time for a slightly longer distance until you reach Northview on your left, follow the public footpath through the garden, cross over the footbridge and turn right. Follow this footpath over the footbridge and turn left, going over another footbridge continue in a southerly direction towards Richmonds Farm with the hedgerow on your right. After passing Plummer Wood follow the footpath to the right and then left passing the farm barns on your left, the footpath then turns right behind the farm house to meet a concrete farm track on your left. Turn left along this track and at the end turn right to join the road at Richmonds Green.
Turn left towards Lindsell and follow this road for about half a mile until you reach the the village sign for Lindsell, the entrance to Sweetings Meadow is on your right.
Sweetings Meadow is a small unimproved hay meadow on chalky boulder clay, also containing a number of fruit trees and a fine pond. It has impressive numbers of cowslips and pyramidal orchids. The many other plants include bee orchid, common spotted orchid, and yellow rattle.
Return to Thaxted
When you are ready to leave the reserve retrace your steps towards Richmonds Green, but just before the second house on your left, Whittakers, turn left to join the bridleway towards Sibley’s Green. This bridleway meets a lane at Sibley’s Green Farm and continue forward along the lane until you come to the junction with the B184, cross over the road and turn right towards Thaxted and follow this wide verge for a short distance before turning left into Monk Street.
Follow the footway through Monk Street until the junction with Folly Mill Lane just before the Farmhouse PH. Turn left into Folly Mill Lane for just a few yards and take the public footpath leading you down hill with the Willows on your left and the paddock on your right. Cross the long footbridge and climb the steps up to a cross field path, the footpath is sometimes marked through the crops but takes a line towards a small scrubby copse ahead and to your left. Follow the edge of the copse turning left down hill towards another cross field path making a heading towards the footbridge. At the bridge turn right and follow the footpath back towards Thaxted with the river Chelmer on your left.
Follow this footpath for quite a distance ignoring the footbridges on your left until you pass the Thaxted Youth Club, and at the footpath junction turn right following the public footpath past the Thaxted Bowls Club on your right until you meet the B184, Dunmow Road. Turn left and before the Saracens Garage cross over towards the Maypole PH, turn left down Orange Street and into Town Street with the Guildhall ahead of you. Walk up Town Street towards the Church but before reaching the Swan Hotel take the lane on your right just after the Indian Villa Restaurant and then turn right again down Margaret Street and back to the car park.