20090314_Walks and Wildlife near Rugby – A query from a Neighbour.
I recently received a nice email (early in 2009) from a gentleman who must live quite close to me on the outskirts of Rugby, Warwickshire … this is what he wrote :-
“Hi, I saw some of your photos of Cawston woods on Flickr. These woods are 5 minutes from me and as Spring approaches am looking for somewhere to walk and try find some wildlife – pretty slim in Rugby. I’m just wondering if you know any really great parts of the woods or areas round Rugby and if you’ve seen much wildlife – insects, amphibians, anything. Great pictures mate,”
I replied with the following, about access into Cawston Woods, and I hope this will be useful to him and for that matter anyone else wishing to do a bit of exploring :-
I’ve been local to “Cawston Woods” myself for the last 8 years and it was only last Feb’ that I first ventured off the official rights-of-ways into the woods themselves.
On the OS 1:25000 Explorer map (sheet 222) the Woods are not called Cawston Woods … They’re called “Cawston Spinney”, “Fox Covert” and “Boat House Spinney”, although they are in effect all part of the same wooded area. Although not big in size, the woods are the largest single area of woodland for miles around.
From the A4071 there is a track (official footpath) that starts between Cawston Farm and the “Nature Trails” Nursery. The track drops down gently to split the woods in two, later to emerge into farmland heading off towards the Northampton Lane farm track near Dunchurch.
As you enter the woods from the A4071 there is a little track that heads off to the right to pick up a little brook and it can be a tad wet (at least it was the one time I went this way). The path gets a bit indistinct but I managed to find a way through to a small reservoir pool. I would imagine there’d be some kind of wildlife in this area as I think it’s probably not frequented very much. At the north-western end of the pool you can pick up an official footpath again and head up the ploughed field to emerge back onto the A4071 again.
Back in the woods, instead of heading right off the main track as described above, you can turn left on a much more pronounced track and it crosses an area where the local BMX bikers have built themselves an informal jump track. The track then continues sort of Eastwards to reach Cawston Lane at the lay-by near the entrance to Lime Tree Village. It’s this area between the main footpath and Cawston Lane that’s ablaze with Blue Bells in the spring.
If you enter the woods from the Lay-by on Cawston Lane, it’s possible to swing left (southwards) through the woods and they narrow considerably to make a sort of finger in the surrounding farmland. At the southern end of this “finger” of woods are a number of small ponds and boggy areas, again I’d guess reasonable for insects and other small wildlife. There are a couple of official rights of way that cross this finger of woods that link with Northampton Lane and Cawston Lane. Both give good access to the woods.
One word of caution … I’ve described what is “on the ground” but there are no “rights of way” to the woods according to my OS map … So access is at your own discretion/risk, what I would say is that they seem well frequented by dog walkers, boys on BMXs and people like me just out for a wander …. In fact I was there on Saturday morning just to enjoy the morning Sun and take some photo’s of the Daffodils just coming into bloom.
Close by is Cock Robin Wood near Sainsbury’s, which I’m told is OK for pond-dipping (Cub-scouts and Brownies go there).
Also there’s the old dismantled railway behind the new Cawston Estate which is walkable and is home to at least one badger sett.
Further afield there are the more formal Ryton Pools, Coombe Country Park, Draycott Water and Daventry Reservoir/Country Park to perhaps give you a few options, but they all have their slightly wilder areas. Also there are several canals nearby always good to for a bit of wildlife.
The info’ centre shop in Rugby Library sells some inexpensive books of local walks … I’ve also posted a couple of local routes I’ve done in my walks diary blog www.tothehills.wordpress.com if you’d like to visit.
Whether that helps anyone thinking of exploring “Cawston Woods” I don’t know, but if it does : wonderful, enjoy.
Bye for now,