Walk 44: Fermyn Woods Circular: Flip-Flop Frenzy

The ‘Needs to Know’

Distance: We walked the longest trail which is about 2 miles (3.22 km)

Time to walk: This is a very short walk & less that 1 hour if you want to walk quickly. However Fermyn have been very good & provided wooden benches every couple of hundred yards which really encourage you to sit, listen to the birdsong & watch what’s going on around you. There’s also a great cafe called the Skylark & information centre – well done Fermyn!!

Difficulty: All off road & whilst the early main tracks are quite firm, once you get into the woods themselves it can get very muddy…as we’ll find out!!

Parking: In the country park car park – £2.60 flat rate for 1 hour or 1 day

Public toilets: In the visitor centre (& thank goodness they had a sink to wash your feet in too…)

Map of the route: 

We followed the orange dot route

So what can we tell you about Fermyn Woods?

Well it’s the largest country park, forming part of the ancient Rockingham Forest, in Northamptonshire & is open 365 days a year

It contains a proliferation of butterflies, moths, newts, dragonflies & birds depending on when you visit – you need to sit quietly to try & spot

So this is going to be a very short walk & you’ll see why in a bit. Much of the walk through the woods is on narrow enclosed paths so, rather than us showing lots of the same looking photos, we suggest you pick up a map from the cafe & follow that.

In the meantime come on…

Let’s Walk!!

1. There’s a really great welcoming sign into the park off the main road. A couple of hundred yards further on is the turning down to Lyveden New Bield so you could combine this with the Woods

…& after parking the Skylark Cafe is straight ahead. All the paths start from here…

2. The start of our walk lies to the right past the information board. Just follow the posts with the orange stripes…

This area’s renowned for its variety of butterflies & here’s our first sighting…

Funny…can't find that one in any of the books...

Funny…can’t find that one in any of the books…

3. The path bends round past an old overgrown pond on the right…

There’s plenty of bird song around here, but the growth is too strong to see them so we have to concentrate on flowers for pictures…

4. The path’s really easy to follow at this stage…

…where on the right we spot a bee that’s definitely going for the last drop of nectar…

5. Shortly the path splits & we need to take the left route…

…& then right by the ‘Poo Bin’…

6. On the left here is another pond & we’ve heard there are newts in here, but we didn’t see them today…

Instead though we did spot a little butterfly in the reeds…

…so it was on with the bigger lenses & here we go…

We think it's a Grizzled Skipper

We think it’s a Grizzled Skipper

7. Finally we turn left & enter the woods…

Better be careful then...

Better be careful then…

8. Now…remember we said at the start that it was going to be a short walk? When we left the car & saw the hard, dry paths we thought…”Maybe we don’t need boots today & England flip-flops will be fine”…

How stunningly clean...

How stunningly clean…

Still dry...

Still dry…

Love Fermyn that every 200 yards there's somewhere to sit

Love Fermyn that every 200 yards there’s somewhere to sit

…but then…

Oh dear, oh dear!! For the rest of the walk within the woods it was just like this & the feet are still not clean. Two steps forward…stop & pick up flip-flop that’s stuck in the mud

And this was before they really got muddy

And this was before they really got muddy

9. The path just carries straight on from here getting muddier & muddier so follow the map…

…& eventually bends to the right to follow the edge of a field…

10. At the end of this stretch there’s a junction where we need to head straight ahead &…

Oh great!!!!

Oh great!!!!

…but we’re finally coming to the end of this mire & through the trees on the left there’s some great views across the countryside…

There was also piles of cuckoo spit around here…

…click on the link for more details, but it’s actually nothing to do with the cuckoo, although we did hear one on this walk. It’s caused by Froghopper Nymphs

11. As we’ve been wandering round here we’ve noticed there’s no rubbish bins (if there were the flip-flops would have been ditched by now!!) & here’s a sign saying why…

…that’s good & hope it’s adopted elsewhere

12. Remember we said about the views? Well there’s a bench along here that’s just superb to sit &….well do nothing…

Well that’s basically the end of the walk because you can just follow the path back to the cafe, but there’s more to see here &, as there’s a fishing lake on the map, we thought we’d better have a look.

Especially as we’d heard there were some dragonflies around & know, given how they move so quickly, how notoriously difficult they are to photograph…we like a challenge!!

13. The fishing pond is over to the right where we are & is a bit exclusive as there’s only 4 pegs & it’s a first come first served day ticket costing an amazing £2.50 a day – we’ve got to try this…

The small pond is full of young Rudd & also lots of Common Carp who were cruising around without a care in the world…providing you stood very still

14. This pond is also supposedly well known for dragonflies so we decide to sit on one of the pegs, set up our gear & wait. We were not disappointed…

That might not be real...

That might not be real…

15. Right…come on back to the car park & on the right & left down here are some great kids playgrounds…

16. Unfortunately we can’t comment on the delights on offer in the cafe as we might have been thrown out with feet in this state. Even 10 minutes trying to wash the mud off in the gents didn’t have much effect!

Anyway that’s the end of our short visit to Fermyn Woods & it really is a little gem – full of wildlife too.

So do give it a go but remember to wear ‘sensible’ footwear!!!

Go Walk…!!

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