Local Wildlife Walks Part 2

Local Wildlife Walk 2

Spring Flower Woodland Walk

With Spring finally here and summer on it’s way, maybe you’re thinking of taking a little walk in the sun to breathe in some nature.

This walk is a woodland spring flower walk, a little longer than the last at approximately three miles, with steep fields and paths towpath, stiles and woods to navigate.  Please ensure you dress for the weather, take a drink and wear sturdy footwear!

Overview: Canal towpath, steep field and paths, lane and woodland, 2 stiles, 3 miles there and back.

When: End of April/beginning of May

Good for: A rich variety of wildflower plants, with a focus on Early Purple Orchid and Toothwort at this time of year.

Start: Canal Visitor Centre Carpark, BA2 7JD If parking, the machine accepts cash or card. The Angelfish Café is above the carpark.

The Walk

Start and end point: Brassknocker Basin Carpark (Canal Visitor Centre Carpark, BA2 7JD)

There is a full map of the whole walk at the bottom of the page

On the bend, leave the canal and keep straight ahead and up by a shed, over a style and steeply up. You may notice 2 marker stones to your right. These were associated with transporting stone on a ramp from quarries at the top down to boats on the River Avon and floated down to Bath. At the second of these stones, take a field path diagonally up to enter a gully in the woods.

Follow the path at the far end of the carpark to Brassknocker Basin on The Kennet and Avon Canal. Cross Dundas Aqueduct by the left-hand towpath.

As you enter the hamlet of Conkwell, the path becomes a lane. At the T-junction at the top, turn left along a lane, and right at the fork. At a layby on the left, and over a stile, go along the field path by the woodland wall, crossing at a low point in the wall into the wood and follow the narrow woodland path right.

A short way along this path you may see a group of Early Purple Orchids with their spotted leaves. In the same area, but harder to spot, are Toothwort. These have no chlorophyll, cannot photosynthesise and are white, looking like 2 rows of large teeth emerging from the soil. Look out for King Alfred’s Cake fungus on dead or decaying wood.

Early Purple Orchid






Early Purple Orchid











King Alfred’s Cakes





After enjoying the woods, return to the start by the same route.

You May See


Brimstone, Orange Tip, Peacock and Holly Blue

Peacock Butterfly



Brimstone Butterfly




Wildflower plants:

Comfrey, Primrose, White Dead Nettle, Red Campion, Violet, Green Alkanet, Forget-me-Not, Wood Anemone, Bluebell, Perennial Honesty, Lesser Celandine, Daisy, Dandelion, Stitchwort, Lady’s Smock, Common Cleavers, Wild Garlic, Germander Speedwell, Common Field Speedwell, Yellow Archangel, Bugle, Lords and Ladies, Vetch, Garlic Mustard, Herb Robert and Dog’s Mercury, Cowslip, Silverweed.

Ladies Smock


Germander speedwell



Common field speedwell




Dog’s Mercury




Route Map

By Sue Monk

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