Linwood - Rockford Common - Blashford Water - Linwood

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The walk starts from the Appleslade Forestry Commission car park with a short climb along the heathland, rewarded with some fine views at the top. Then you cross Rockford Common, where you should be lucky enough to see plenty of New Forest ponies roaming freely. As you descend through the forest there are some magnificent ancient oak-trees lining the driveway. The route takes you past Moyles Court School - the house where Alice Lisle lived in the 17th Century and passes the door of the Alice Lisle public house. This has a beautiful garden overlooking the lake.

As you enter the Blashford Lakes Wildlife Reserve, enjoy a circuit around these disused gravel-pits which have been transformed into beautiful lakes. It's a bit frustrating as the hedges obscure the views over the water a lot of the time, but there are some well-placed benches where you can observe the wildlife. You may be really lucky and spot an otter as they are reported to pass through, swimming up the Dockens Water River.

From May through to October look out for any of the twenty species of dragonfly recorded on site, including downy emeralds and more frequent species such as common blue and beautiful demoiselle damselflies, emperor, brown hawker and common darter dragonflies. Rare lichens growing in the rabbit-grazed short turf of the acid grassland provide a mosaic of green, grey and red.

Leaving the wildlife reserve you climb gently along heathland and then return to the car park past Appleslade Inclosure, with a wealth of beautiful oak and silver birch trees.

England - South England - Hampshire - New Forest

Features

Birds, Butterflies, Flowers, Good for Kids, Great Views, Lake/Loch, Public Transport, River, Wildlife, Woodland
30/08/2011 - Simon Taylor

Lovely walk - please note at point 6 and point 9, the stile and kissing gate have been replaced with a metal gate. At point 16, just keep going ahead (11 o'clock direction when coming out of the trees to head towards the two silver birch trees).

08/08/2011 - Jill Larby

Great walk thankyou, we did this 7/8/11 just as the heather was coming into flower on the common, stunning views. Beware anyone with hayfever, my walking partner, Dave, had trouble with the high pollen levels. The directions are spot on, although a compass direction would help across the open ground.

11/06/2011 - Jonathan Wallis

An excellent walk - with stunning New Forest scenery, lakes and river (although after the recent dry weather it was just a river bed!) and a good pub en route! Directions were generally very clear - the only point of potential confusion was between points 16 and 17 where it was not clear whether we should go out of the trees past the telegraph and power lines rather than keep straight ahead through the trees. But we loved the walk.

02/03/2008 - paul naylor

Very enjoyable walk with readily followable directions but the gate at point 13 is now a wooden one and the total distance is more like 5.5 miles - unless I missed a great chunk out without realising it. Paul Naylor

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