Harefield Church to Springwell Lock 5 miles (3 - 3.5 hours).
The walk starts at Harefield Church.
From the church continue up the driveway slope and emerge onto Church Hill, crossing with care and turning right [north], past the Jacobean Almshouses.
At the public footpath sign turn left [west].
Harefield Village is 300 metres further up the hill, where toilets and a choice of refreshments to suit all tastes are available.
After 90 (m) cross Dovedale Close, pass between the allotment gardens and old 'Tip' land to the stile. After 130 (m), cross another stile. Cross the farm track at the junction and turn south-west, over another stile, then proceed down the slope. Cross the stile at the lower edge of the hedge/copse, then cross the field diagonally west, to the stile in the corner of the field, at the corner of Jack's Lane; cross the stile.
Elder, thorn, elm, hazel, field maple and sloe are present in this hedgerow which is obviously very old [based on the theory of 1 woody species per hundred years indicates the age of a hedge].
Continue on the roadway for 100 (m), then cross the canal at the bridge [No. 178].
Note Jack's Mill and Jack's Lock, noting the date of 1870. The frequent references to 'Black' Jack are largely unfounded. The Domesday Book records a mill here. The London Outer Orbital Path may be joined here.
Walk along the canal towpath northwards and cross the bridge at the weir.
In 100 (m) Coppermill Down is visible, across the Canal, where cowslips are still abundant. Notice the holes left in the metal piling to allow sand martins to continue breeding.
Continue to the Fisheries Inn Public House.
Refreshments are available here.
Cross the bridge over the canal, with care.
There are records of mills here in Domesday Book; copper mills were built in 1803.
Enter Park Lane and after 150 (m) cross Park Lane to enter Summerhouse Lane. 350 (m) along Summerhouse Lane, turn right [east] at the signpost and go up the slope past Bellevue Terrace, through the anti-cycle barrier, up the path fenced on both sides, between two sections of Old Park Wood.
The differing levels create diversity of plants and trees. Bluebells, coral-root and goldilocks are abundant in spring and many birds may be observed. Look out for rabbits and foxes.
Continue ahead, to Hill End Road.
Harefield Village with all its facilities is 1 kilometre south from here.
Cross Hill End Road, onto the pavement, turn left [north] and pass Hill End Pond.
(The Northern Link carries The London Outer Orbital Path) The trial continues ahead for 200 (m) and leaves the road at the signpost at the end of Maracus Cottage drive. Follow the footpath over two stiles across the field. Re-join the road for 120 (m) then turn left [west] over the stile at the driveway of Springwell Farm. Follow the track, turning right [north] and go down the side of the valley.
In the valley, can be seen Maple Cross Sewage Works and Springwell reed-bed, a habitat unique in the area; this is a nature reserve managed by Herts & Middx Trust for Nature Conservation.
Leave the track, bearing right [north-east].
Below this path and also on the far side of the road is Springwell Lane chalk pit.
Rejoin Springwell Lane. Turn left [north-west] and follow the road to cross the bridge [No. 176] over the canal at Springwell Lock.
The car park is just over the canal bridge.
[The canal towpath leads south towards Uxbridge and north towards Rickmansworth.]
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