WALK 7 – “RIVER FIELDS” WALK (map 2)
The outward route towards the river Stour is the same as for Walk 6, but this walk offers a different return route.
A. Leave the Cross via Haywards Lane. Take the first right into Rectory Lane, then first left into the short track between the hedge and the former Rectory. Go through a kissing gate and cross the field, to another kissing gate into Legal Lane. Turn left for about 300 yards, then near the end of the lane turn right through a metal kissing gate labelled Stour Valley Way. Go straight ahead between the avenue of oak trees and the hedge (ignore the stile on the right). Go through the wooden kissing gate, past a derelict stile on the right and continue to the far end of the field. Go through the wooden gate, turn right to cross the bridge and follow the hedge on the right. (For a more extended walk go straight ahead over the stile and walk to the far right hand corner of the field. Turn left to enjoy a splendid walk along the river bank. Finally, at a plantation of poplar trees turn left and return to the same stile. This field is designated open access land, as is the field you have just left.)
B. Pass through double gates on the right, then straight ahead, keeping the hedge on the right. Go through the gate (usually open) to the right corner of the field. Pass through 4 gates, turn left and follow the hedge on the left. Go through the field gate, and then a small metal gate and turn right into a lane (Netmead Lane). At the houses turn right on to the path (a permissive ‘conservation’ path), keeping between the houses and the wire fence. Go through the gate at the end, over the bridge and continue ahead with newly planted woodland on the right behind a deer fence, bearing right at the end. Go through the gate into Legal Lane. Follow the lane left to a path junction and turn right. Cross the private drive, bearing right and turn left on to a footpath. Continue on the footpath to the tarmac road (Rectory Lane). Turn right and continue to the crossroads, then left back to the Cross up Haywards Lane.