Wednesday, 14 November 2012

#12 Harrold and Odell

#12 Harrold and Odell

Distance - 5.78 Miles
Ascent - 96 metres

My first challenge walk in the UK!  Thought I'd do an easy walk in north Beds.  Starting in Harrold country park with easy parking it should be and easy wander round the countryside.  It was not too cold, not raining and generally all was good for the day.

Odell Church
Surprisingly I found the walking tougher than it should be.  After Jordan I had been a little under the weather and as I write this I can confirm that i'm ill!  It was actually a nice (on the whole) and gentle walk through nice ancient woodland.
Starting in the country park the walk disects 2 lakes with plenty of wildlife (Swans and ducks, yes I'm a real bird spotter!).  The park opens up into the small village of Odell before moving on towards the Odell Great Wood.  This area of ancient woodland was very quiet and peaceful.  It was a bit damp underfoot but nothing too worrisome.
Tree lined evenue towards the Great Wood.
The path soon leaves the wood and heads onto Yelnow Lane.  This B.O.A.T was badly rutted and waterlogged.  It was slippy underfoot and the deep ruts left small narrow ridges to walk along.  Signs further along the lane indicated that the lane had been closed to traffic all summer due to the waterlogging and damage, but it had clearly been used by motorbikes or quads.
Ancient Woodland
After the woods the route took me back towards Harold where the path in places led through new housing.  Following a nice clear stream it was noticeable that none of the houses (or the design of the estate) opened up onto the stream.  The path was flanked by high wooden fences of the gardens, I just didn't get it, why ignore a lovely stream?  Oh well!
(yes I know I'm out of sync but this walk was fresh in memory!)


  1. Interesting! I used to do a bit of walking around Harrold & Odell myself a decade or two back when we lived nearby. It's quite nice, and good for wildlife like you say.

    Also interesting your comments on the BOAT. I've just blogged about a recent trip involving one of these - same problem: wet, muddy and churned up by motorised traffic. It'll cost a lot to repair, if it ever does get seen to.

  2. The BOAT looks like its normally closed in winter but had also been also shut over the summer. Didn't look like it had stopped too many people though!

    The 4x4 tracks were deeply rutted, then quad tracks rutted inside them, then motorbikes inside them! It left slippy ridges, barely a foot wide with foot deep ruts. Not easy or nice to walk along. The weather can't of helped this year, but like you say with cuts I doubt the repairs will be done for years.

  3. A few years back, a section of BOAT near us was extensively repaired as it had become soooooo bad - a foot deep in gloopy mud for it's entire 6m width, for well over half a mile. It took around one quarter of the ENTIRE annual RoW repair budget for the county to fix, and weeks to do - and a fortnight later was cut up badly again by trail bike riders! I watched them do it, and watched them laughing while they did it!

    Reporting might feel good, but it doesn't get it fixed again. :-(