Compton Dando Walk

Monday 3rd June – Compton Dando

Walk Leaders: Patsy & Nicky

A walk from Compton Dando setting off at 09.30, returning for lunch at the Compton Inn, Court Hill, Compton Dando, BS39 4JZ for lunch at 13.00. As this is some 20 miles from Wells, please try to share transport. Toilet facilities will be available before the walk.

The walk is about 5.8 miles, heading out along the river Chew from Compton Dando north towards Keynsham. At Chewton Keynsham we head west up a tarmac lane to a byway along a ridge, heading south to Charlton Field, past some disused bio domes and with views out to Bristol and the Severn bridge. There is a little road walking which will need care and single file for about 300 yards before we turn down Slate Lane. Through Wooscombe Wood and across fields till we pick up the bridle way into Woollard, an interesting village with some very old houses. We take the road out of Woollard and make our way up to a woodland path beside the river and back to Compton Dando.

There is 1 stile at the end of the walk, but quite a few gates. Most of the paths were well marked by regular users, and quite firm underfoot. The woodland path was a little tricky, with a certain amount of understandable mud from the springs which run down the hillside into the river. This is not a flat walk – undulating may best describe it. There were a few sheep in the fields around, but not the fields we crossed, also some alpacas but no cattle yet – signs of horses (jumps) but no horses seen.

Once again, our walk leaders were gifted with great weather for our walk - despite rain over the past few days, our group of twenty walkers set off in warm sunshine which only declined towards the end of the morning. There was a tiny amount of misty rain once or twice, but on returning to Wells after the walk we were greeted with very wet roads which showed how lucky we’d been once again!

The route commenced beside the river and continued on through varied and lush countryside and through woods alive with birdsong. Most of our common migrants are now well established on their territories, and we heard blackcaps, whitethroats and willow warblers as well as the usual native birds, and several pairs of buzzards were also evident.
As we climbed steadily higher, great views towards Bristol and Wales became available, and we then were surprised to pass an unanticipated sight in the countryside in the form of a mothballed bio-power plant that had failed to fulfil its promise of clean power and gone into receivership.

We descended again through woodland and a pretty village before fighting our way past a recently fallen tree and on to a keenly anticipated lunch at the Compton Inn. A lovely lunch after a lovely walk - many thanks to Patsy and Nicky!
Report by Richard