The Three Ponds of Yateley

What makes the difference between a good walk and a memorable walk? Answer – good organisation, fair weather, a pleasant route and an exceptional walk leader, in our case Paul Sanders.

A record number of walkers (x50) turned up for the first of our Walk The Valley season of circular walks ‘The Three Ponds of Yateley’. Described as a walk of four ponds, three lakes, a stream, a spring, a river and a church, it met its description and a lot more.

We started at the Gravel Pit car park on the A30 and over the six miles visited the three main ‘ponds’ – Hospital, Swan & Wyndham – stopping at Swan Lake for a short break. Waiting for us was a barrow load of biscuits and cakes together with helpers on hand to serve hot drinks. Whilst enjoying the refreshments we could view the bird life on the lake including swans, cormorants and various ducks.

We then continued around the lake touching briefly the Blackwater Path, and then via open heathland. At times the walkers stretched far into the distance, especially when walking in single file, which was interesting 

for the back marker who could not even see those at the front! Along the way spring was starting to show with patches of wood anemone hidden in the bracken and bluebells not far off flowering. Add to this a splattering of various fungi, and it turned out to be a most interesting two hours. 

A big thank you to Paul Sanders for organising this event and laying on the refreshments.

This is the first of a number of circular walks BVCT is providing this year, all led by Paul, and which can be found by going to the BVCT web site –


Ken Bigrave