The wildlife of Daneshill Lakes Walk

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Route:

Route: 1: From the car park go through the main gate and ahead past the notice board on the wide gravel track. At the junction swing right, so that the large lake opens up on your left. Go past the warden’s office and sailing club hut along the water’s edge.

2: Approaching the railway look for the two large track-side signs which read ‘Edinburgh 350 miles’. (Fortunately this walk is a little less ambitious.) The first left turn is a continuation of the lake- side path, and the second left is via the dog-run next to the railway. Both join up 350yds (320metres) later and resume the easy tour around the main lake, past large bushes of rose hip. A second, smaller lake is on the right.

3: When you meet the fence at the end, with an open field beyond, turn left. As this bears left after 300yds (274metres) take the small grassy path into the woods half right, as indicated by a small wooden post bearing the letters ‘MM’.This is a wildlife trail created for the Millennium and designed in particular for use by local school groups. it wanders happily through the bushes and trees and beside a small stream (look out for the pond-dipping platform), and when it finally emerges from the undergrowth turn right and right again to return to the car park. Continue via the small path through the trees to the left of the road entrance and cross the road.

4: Go through the gateway on the opposite side and turn left on to a wide track, indicated ‘easy Access to Reserve’ (ignore the footpath to the right). Follow this track until you reach a wooden footbridge. Go across, then turn right and walk along to reach the notice board by the woodland pond.

5: Continue to follow this easy and obvious track through the reserve, keeping the ditch and stream on your right-hand side and ignoring an inviting turning to the right across a footbridge.

6: Unless you want to make a diversion at this point to visit Ranskill as well, ignore the right turn for the Millennium Pathway, and instead stick to the main path as it completes a giant loop around the entire nature reserve. Look out for the shallow pools and scrapes among the undergrowth, which are a focus for creatures such as frogs and beetles. After about a mile (1.6km) or so you arrive back at the wooden footbridge. Turn right here to cross it, go through the gateway to the road and cross over to return to the car park.

TIME: 1½ hours

DISTANCE: 3 miles

TERRAIN: Good

ABILITY: Easy

PARKING: Yes

TERRAIN: Firm gravel tracks and woodland paths

PARKING: Nature reserve car park, Daneshill Road, signed from A638

HOW TO GET THERE: Map aqua3 OS Explorer 279 Doncaster. Meet at SK 668865

WHERE TO EAT AND DRINK: Refreshments at local pubs such as the Pilgrim Fathers at Scrooby (open all day), and the Huntsman at Torworth, plus there’s the Village Fish Bar at Ranskill.