Stansted and Ugley
A circuit from Stansted via nature reserves
Spring or early summer
Wild flowers in and around Aubrey Buxton nature reserve, including orchids; birds in woods and hedgerows.
Some paths cross arable fields that may be ploughed or obstructed by crops; muddy paths in wet weather.
Train to Stansted Mountfitchet from Liverpool Street or Stratford, or park at Aubrey Buxton nature reserve (point C)
Gently undulating terrain, on mostly well-defined unsurfaced footpaths, apart from the walks on road into and out of Stansted, and short sections elsewhere.
Click on a marker on the map for route details
Stage AB: Stansted to Yew Tree Cottage
From Stansted station walk up Station Road and straight across into Lower Street. At the junction bear right up Grove Hill, and after c. 300m turn left into a footpath beyond Hawthorns, just before the road bends left. After the gardens you emerge into an area of rough grassland with scattered scrub and trees, heavily grazed by rabbits. Keep roughly parallel to the belt of trees and scrub on your right until you come to an access road, by Yew Tree Cottage.
Stage BC: Yew Tree Cottage to ABNR
Continue straight across the road into a footpath opposite. This crosses an arable field, then passes through a small wood and emerges into another arable field beyond, and continues roughly straight ahead converging on the trees of Aubrey Buxton nature reserve (ABNR) ahead on the left. About 50m beyond where you meet the trees turn into the reserve, just short of a lake, and follow the path round past the lake and on up to the main entrance and car park.
Stage CD: ABNR to Linnets Wood
Turn right outside the ABNR car park along the road (also a bridleway) and turn left on to the footpath just beyond Alsa Wood Farm. Walk past the Christmas tree plantation, over the stile and through the pasture, with Alsa Wood on your right. Turn right at the corner of the wood, where a footpath crosses, then left again as you come out into an arable field. Follow the grass track down to the road, turning right and following it to the junction, with Ugley Green's green ahead. Cross the road and walk across to the far side of the green, turning left on to a footpath that runs out at the far corner on to a broad grass track between hedges. This leads into an arable field: follow the hedgerow on your left up to the next field, where you cross the field margin and continue with a hedge on your right. At the end of this field you enter Linnets Wood.
Stage DE: Linnets Wood to ABNR link
Turn left on entering the wood and follow the path parallel to its eastern edge. At the corner of the wood you emerge into an arable field and follow the path onwards past farm buildings on your left and on to a road. Cross to a footpath opposite, to the right of a house named Jordans. The loose-surfaced track becomes a grass track through a meadow, then through a kissing gate and across the centre of two arable fields, after which it crosses a farm track and continues as a grass track with a hedge on the left. It then enters a small wood via a gate, turns right then left and continues through woods and scrub, past signs warning of a rifle range on the right. Passing a stable, you emerge on to a road: turn right for c.100 m past the entrance to Alsa Business Park, then turn left on to a footpath just beyond it. Follow this through arable fields beside a narrow strip of conifers until an area of natural vegetation appears to your left. You can follow a permissive footpath running up through this to Aubrey Buxton nature reserve (ABNR), or keep straight on to return to Stansted.
Stage EA: ABNR link to Stansted
Continue along the footpath through a narrow strip of woodland then along the edge of arable fields, with a stream on the left, then through a section shaded by trees. At North End House you come out on to a narrow road called Gall End Lane. Follow this down into Stansted. At the end of Lower Street cross into Station Road for Stansted station.