The Old Claypit
Explore a bit of nature and a taste of the past!
This route takes you through the Wilford Claypit Nature Reserve, a picturesque area once used as a claypit for the local brickworks (for the neighbouring industrial estate) and allowed to be reclaimed by nature into a beautiful nature reserve featuring an abundance of rare orchids. Then follow the natural paths through the Compton Acres Estate, bringing you past the duck pond and back to the starting point. The Claypit is an enjoyable bit of respite in the middle of suburbia.
Some off-path area and stepped stiles, not appropriate for wheelchairs/pushchairs. Alternative route available.
- Wilford Claypit Nature Reserve
- Compton Acres Green Paths
- Compton Acres Duck Pond
We suggest you start at the south-west edge of Ruddington Lane Park, on Ruddington Lane.
Follow the path east along the south edge of Ruddington Lane Park until you reach the tram tracks. Cross the tracks and follow the path south (right) alongside the tram tracks until you reach Ruddington Lane Stop.
Follow Ruddington Lane to your left, crossing over the entry road to Wilford Industrial Estate. Turn left onto Landmere Lane following the road up and round to the right. You will see the sign and stile/entrance to Wilford Claypit on your left.
Step 3 *
Enter Wilford Claypit Nature Reserve on your left. There is an easy to follow path around the claypit that we would suggest, do feel free to venture as you wish - there are four exits, two onto Landmere Lane and two onto Compton Acres. Follow Step 5 as necessary when exiting.
Our suggested route: upon entering the claypit via the first Wilford Claypit signposted stile, follow the path to your right, ignoring a right turn, until you reach an opening from the wooded canopy. Take the path, slightly fenced off, to your left - following this down a set of wide steps in the hillside. At the bottom of the hill, you will see a further entrance to the claypit reserve - enter via the stile/gate (be prepared: the marshland around the claypit will get very boggy during and after rainy weather).
Step 4 *
Crossing another stile and following the path to your left, walk alongside the dyke on your right-hand side. You will pass a short pier which offers pleasant views across the pond. Continuing along the path alongside the dyke, you will eventually reach an open area with a set of steps up and on your left and another stile/path on your right. The path/stile on your right brings you to the centre of the pit, a site of special scientific interest for the rare marsh orchid and bee orchid which you may see (rather beautifully) in abundance.
When you are ready, take the steps on your left, continue along the path at the top crossing a stile and going up a second set of steps. Crossing the stile at the top, turn right and continue along the path - following it as it bends to the right. After this bend, take the first left turn bringing you up to the first large opening you reached in the claypit. Take the path leading left out of the large opening - bringing you to a stile and, crossing that, to Compton Acres (road).
This route now follows the historic culverts in farmers' fields that have existed here for centuries (long before Compton Acres estate existed). Turn left on Compton Acres (road) and follow the road until you pass Killerton Park Drive. Shortly past Killerton Park Drive you will see a path to your left - follow this path. Take the second turn on your right (you will be past most of the green open field on your left). Follow this path on your right - crossing Compton Acres (road). When you reach a T-junction in the path, take the left path, eventually crossing Rugby Road. Follow this path, ignoring two right turns and passing the smaller duck pond, following the path as it bends to your right around a corner. After this bend, take the immediate left turn, turn left again, and take the immediate right/diagonal path to reach Compton Acres (road) and opposite Lyme Park (road) and the larger duck pond.
Cross Compton Acres (road) to stand beside Lyme Park (road). The duck pond is on your left. Feel free to walk beside the pond, roughly following Lyme Park (road) - do not cross the brook or you have gone too far. Continue along Lyme Park (road) until you reach the end of the bricked portion of the road - follow the path to your left away from the road. Reaching a T-Junction, turn right and you will reach Compton Acres Tram Stop. Cross the tracks and, continuing straight, follow the southern edge of Ruddington Lane Park and you will have reached the start point.
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Alternative Accessible Route *
Skipping step 3 and 4, follow Landmere Lane until you reach Compton Acres (road). Continue on Step 5.
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