THOUGH this walk starts at Bredon it eschews the climb up Bredon Hill in favour of an easy stroll through two beautiful villages and a nature reserve that comprises woodlands, wetlands and meadows.

Kemerton Lake Nature Reserve is in the Carrant Brook catchment, one of the most important areas for breeding waders in both the Severn and Avon vales, so there is a good variety of breeding birds in spring and summer, including lapwing and redshank.

It has plenty to offer in winter too, when large numbers of ducks, including shoveler and pochard, visit the reserve to roost or feed.

Other species present in winter include roosting starlings and reed buntings, so it’s well worth a visit just in the hope of seeing these. A starling roost on the move at dusk is one of the most mesmerising spectacles the avian world has to offer.

The nature reserve is traversed by a public path and there is also a permissive path which is open to the public. There are two public viewing hides, west hide and east hide. West hide is supposed to be open all year (though it was closed on my visit) and is next to the public footpath. East hide is open from April to October. You can find its location by consulting a map displayed at the southern end of the nature reserve.

Dogs are allowed only in parts of the reserve and you’ll find details on the map, but even on the public footpath your dog should be on a short lead. For more information, go to

Kemerton Lake Nature Reserve is managed by the exemplary Kemerton Conservation Trust, founded in 1989 by farmer and leading conservationist Adrian Darby, in response to the catastrophic national decline in farmland biodiversity.

The reserve is encouraging proof that knowledge, dedication, hard work and sufficient funds can successfully restore a seriously degraded landscape. Another not-to-be-missed feature of the walk is St Faith’s Church at Overbury, where the beautiful churchyard is carpeted with flowers from January to May. The show begins with snowdrops and winter aconites, soon to be followed by crocus and cyclamen.


Start: Bredon, grid ref SO927369.

Length: Seven miles/11km.

Maps: OS Explorer 190, OS Landranger 150.

Terrain: Pasture, arable, parkland and woodland; no hills.

Footpaths: Most are very good except that waymarking is patchy and some paths have not been reinstated after ploughing.

Stiles: Four.

Parking: Car park in Bredon, next to B4079/B4080 junction.

Transport: (First 550/551/557) or train to Evesham then Aston's 540 to Overbury, Kemerton and Bredon; s or 01905 765765.

Refreshments: Bredon and Kemerton.


1 Walk east beside the main road through the village, towards Kemerton. After passing the last houses turn right where a brown-and-white sign indicates Kemerton Lake Nature Reserve.

The path is easily followed to a junction where there’s another brown-and-white sign. Turn right and walk through the nature reserve. Turn left at a junction and after another 100m you’ll see a map of the reserve.

2 You now need to head for Kinsham Lane. There’s a public path going to the right (to Kinsham) and a permissive path (South Ride) which continues straight on. Neither of these is much use in this context.

You could take the public path but you would then have to do a fair bit of road walking, while the permissive path doesn’t provide a through route to the road at all. So the best thing to do is to turn round and walk back through the nature reserve to return to the junction with the brown-and-white sign, then turn right on an unsigned public footpath which leads to Kinsham Lane.

3 Turn right, then left on a minor lane. Go left at a junction and pass a handful of beautiful cottages to reach Kemerton Court and Upper Court. Ignore the first footpath on the right but take a second one a short distance further on. It passes between lakes and gardens then forks at the edge of a wood. Take the left-hand branch then cross a plank-footbridge and follow a brook through the woods.

When the path forks by a large willow tree go to the right and cross a stile. Walk across fields then diagonally across parkland to a black farm building. Pass to the right of it, joining a track, then shortly turn left on a grassy path running between stone walls to Overbury.

4 Turn left through Overbury.

About 350m beyond the village take a path on the right. Bear left across pasture then keep to the right through two more pastures to meet a lane at Kemerton. Cross to another lane almost opposite, by Kings Lea. At the next junction again take a lane almost opposite and then pass to the left of a leylandii hedge to join a fenced path. Keep to the right through two fields to reach Westmancote.

Turn left.

5 Take Chapel Lane and go straight on along a footpath at the end of the lane. Turn left when the path emerges into a field. As you approach a lane, turn round so that you’re facing into the field, and head for a point close to the far left corner. As you get nearer you’ll see a waymarked gate, which gives on to a fenced, hedged path that leads to a lane.

Take another path almost opposite and follow it to Moreton Lane.

Cross and turn left. After a few metres take an unsigned track.

Cross the railway, keep to the left field edge then descend through woodland. Follow a driveway up to a street and proceed to the main road. Turn left to your starting point.


Worcester News recommends the
use of OS Explorer Maps, your
ideal passport to navigating the
countryside. This walk is based
on OS Explorer 190.