Burton Mill Pond Nature Walk
The walk: This is a very easy walk of around 3.5 miles which should take around 1.5 hours. It’s mostly flat with a good variety of scenery and with Burton & Chingford ponds there’s the perfect habitat for lots of wildlife. Look out for birdlife, such as Tufted Ducks, Great Crested Grebes, Grey Wagtails, Reed Warblers, Woodpeckers (including lesser spotted) and Hobby Falcons to name but a few. If you are lucky, you may also see some roe deer.
Getting to the start of the walk:
Take the A285 south of Petworth and after around 2 miles, turn left signposted Burton Mill. The car park is a mile or so down the road on the left, just before you pass Burton Pond itself.
Instructions for the walk:
From the car park, turn right onto the road and then almost immediately turn left through some white gates for Burton Mill Lodge. After about 100 yards, go through a gate and continue on the path straight ahead through an area of lush vegetation. After a quarter of a mile or so go through a gate and continue on the path ahead until you reach the road a few hundred yards further on.
Turn left onto the road and continue for a couple of hundred yards past an exclusive area of housing and green to your left. Where the road bears round to the left, follow the wide footpath straight ahead. After a couple of hundred yards go through a gate and almost immediately cross a bridge crossing a fast-moving stream and continue straight ahead, walking past Chingford pond on your left.
Once you pass the pond, the path forks and you take the path to the right through the wood emerging after a few hundred years to a gate. Go through the gate and go straight ahead through another gate, crossing a farm track. Walk past the farmhouse and farm building on your left and follow the lane down the hill. The lane levels out and you carry straight on until you see a t-junction ahead. Just before you get to this t-junction (about 30 yards) take the narrow path to your left through a forest of very high rowan, or mountain ash, trees.
After no more than 200 yards, take the path round to the right across the boarding over the bog, nicknamed the black hole. After the boards, turn right and follow the path until you come to the road. Turn left onto the road and after a short while you come to a crossroads.
Take the road to the right and then almost immediately take the footpath over a stile to your left, following the direction the footpath sign is pointing in. You pass a derelict cow shed on your left and shortly after that the path bends round to the left up the hill until you come to a stile.
Cross the stile and take the path downhill to the left of the telegraph pole. Follow the path as it snakes uphill to the left and crosses a stile by another telegraph pole. Keep to the left edge of the field and then follow that path as it bends round to the left. You’ll see some farm buildings ahead of you and your head to the right of those. Pass the buildings to your left and come to a road. There is a bridge to your right over the river Rother but you turn left. You very quickly come to a stile on your right with a footpath sign.
Cross the stile and walk along the edge of the field, with the hedge row immediately to your left. At the end of the field, you come to a wood where you cross a stile and then turn right and take the path between the trees and the fence. After a couple of hundred yards, the path takes a sharp left through the woods where a few minutes later you emerge, after a steep descent, onto the road. You turn right and views of Burton Mill Pond open up on your left. Once you are past the pond, the car park is on your right and you are back to where you started.