Cobdens Farm – Wey South Path – Barberry Bridge – Sachel Hill – Cobdens Farm

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Initially the route passes through Fir Tree Copse, a nature reserve and Site of Special Scientific Interest managed by Surrey Wildlife Trust. This small area of woodland was once part of Chiddingfold Forest and is one of the best sites in Surrey for moths. Avian residents include tawny owls, nuthatches and willow-tits.

The route then enters Sidney Wood, which is managed for timber by the Forestry Commission and continues alongside the old Wey and Arun Canal on the Wey South Path (a 36-mile long-distance trail from Guildford to Amberley) .Along this section the canal is either a dry trench or a series of stagnant pools, depending on the season and recent weather patterns. The canal was originally built in the Napoleonic wars to provide a safe route between London and Portsmouth by linking the Rivers Wey and Arun. However, the wars were over by the time the canal was opened in 1816 and it was officially abandoned in 1871.

Our route passes the summit section of the canal. There were originally several locks on this stretch but they were destroyed by Canadian troops stationed nearby in World War II, who used them as target practice.

In medieval times this area was renowned for its glassworks and the route passes the site of a former glassworks, though there is nothing left on the ground.
At the furtherest point of the route there is a section of canal which has been restored by the charity The Wey and Arun Canal Trust, including the restored Gennets Lock (see general photo) which was opened in 2018.

The route then crosses the new Barberry Bridge and returns through Sidney Wood to the car park via Sachelhill Lane, an ancient thoroughfare.

Note to dog owners: there are no stiles on this walk and when I walked it, no contact with livestock.

England - South England - Surrey - Canal Walk


Birds, Butterflies, Flowers, Industrial Archaeology, Mostly Flat, Woodland
2/7/2022 - Dave Miller

A fascinating walk, largely along the route of the disused Wey and Arun Canal. The Wey and Arun Canal Trust has produced an informative, illustrated guide "Visiting the Wey and Arun Canal" that describes a number of sites along this walk. It is available via their Website and will add to the enjoyment of this wonderful walk.

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