A stunning nature reserve near Yoxall – Brankley Pastures

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A brand new discovery for us this week was Brankley Pastures, a beautiful nature reserve near Yoxall. Relatively new project by the Staffordshire Wildlife Trust to restore unused arable land to woodland. Encouraging wildlife to return and thrive in the area. It’s also a gorgeous place for a weekend walk. It has a well signposted route and a reasonable sized carpark which never seems to get busy despite the distinct lack of parking in the area.

fallen tree next to a huge tree in green countryside

The walk route around Brankley Pastures

Begin the walk in the carpark for the nature reserve. You’ll find it in the Needwood Forest, on Scotch Hill Lane between Yoxall and Rangemore. Leave through the gate, you’ll immediately see bug marker number 1. These are what you’ll follow for the entirity of the route, it’s lovely for kids to take control here and keep looking for the next sign.

This section gets pretty waterlogged after rain so be prepared to squelch through in your wellies. Keeping the hedgerow to your left you’ll soon come to a wooden kissing gate. Go through and you’ll enter a field with plenty of new trees. Walk through on a slight diagonal, heading towards the right to the next kissing gate.

The next field is home to some slightly more established trees, it’s overgrown and a great spot for wildlife spotting. The path is clear to follow, but super muddy again. Every kids dream! It ends at yet another well maintained wooden kissing gate.

This part of the walk is beautiful woodland and a good place to stop for some wood based play. During our visit some kids had started to build dens which of course Piper had to get involved in! There is a little path through the woods which you can veer off on but it won’t take you anywhere. Just keep following the main trail round to the right. You’ll soon see a sweet bench and the next gate.

This takes you into an area of well established woodland and my favourite part of the walk. Just keep your eyes peeling for the next route marker. and go through the next gate which takes you out of the woods into a gorgeous open space with offering some amazing views across the surrounding Staffordshire countryside. I think this is the perfect spot for a picnic.

Once you’ve had your fill of the views its back into the forest, following the next route marker (No bug on this one!). The next bug marker in number 6 which takes you into a wide open field full of mud, grass and pretty reeds. This will be gorgeous come summer. Keep going down to the hedgerow taking a moment to stop and take in the pretty pond at the bottom.

You’ll soon cross over this pretty wooden bridge which will take you into the first field from the carpark. Keep following the path and you’ll soon get back to your car.

Parking for Brankley Pastures nature reserve

Brankley Pastures has its own, good sized free carpark. Use the postcode DE13 8BN and pull in when you see the green sign.

Brantley pastures car park

Route Details

Walk Duration: The walk at Brankley Pastures Nature Reserve near Yoxall wasn’t too long and took us around an hour and a half with a couple of stops to play and spot wildlife.

The walk with Dogs: Make sure you keep dogs close to you, there are many nesting birds close to the ground between April and July and occasionally grazing farm animals. Please take plenty of bags to clean up after your dog, I didn’t see any bins so just took our waste home with us.

Walk difficulty: This walk is very easy to follow, pretty flat and not too long so I think it should be easy for all. The only thing to watch out for is the mud!

If you’re local to Yoxall and need some inspiration, have a look at these other Yoxall Walks to try.

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