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Forest access track through Yearley Woods near the end of our walk
Forest access track through Yearsley Woods near the end of our walk

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Route No. 464 - Wednesday 11 April 2012
Yearsley village, Yearsley woods
& fish ponds circuit - 9km
Howardian Hills . . .

Route map from Ordnance Survey Open Space service.

Map: OS Explorer 300 Howardian Hills & Malton


Entering Yearsley village from the crossroads
Entering Yearsley village from the crossroads

Young bulls by our parking spot
Young bulls by our parking spot

Donkeys in the field at Bay tree Cottage
Donkeys in the field at Bay tree Cottage

The path approaching Rutter's Plantation
The path approaching Rutter's Plantation

There is a public footpath off the road to the right here going along the side of the cottage and out to the fields. We followed the path across several fields to Rutter's Plantation. At the edge of the plantation the track continued along the edge of the field and the wood, but we took a little local dog-walkers' path a few metres into the wood.

There are heavy thunder storms forecast for this afternoon so we opted for a short local walk today. We drove to the village of Yearsley just a few miles away in the Howardian Hills and parked at an entrance to Yearsley Woods at map ref. SE590745, a few hundred metres from the village. We walked back along the road to the village and along the village street to a cottage on our right called Bay Tree Cottage.

Public footpath at Bay Tree Cottage in Yearsley
Public footpath at Bay Tree Cottage in Yearsley

The path from Yearsley across the fields
The path from Yearsley across the fields

Dog walkers' path through Rutter's Plantation
Dog walkers' path through Rutter's Plantation

Looking across the fields to Yearsley
Looking across the fields to Yearsley

Wood Sorrel by the path
Wood Sorrel by the path

Path crossing the first forest access track
Path crossing the first forest access track

After another 300m the public footpath drops down to a forest access track to the right only to climb up again after a few hundred metres. There is a well walked path avoiding this diversion which we followed to rejoin the public footpath and emerge onto a forest access track at map ref. SE590756. We turned right to walk along the track and pass a derelict farmstead on the right hand side of the track after about 250m.

We followed this path through the trees for about 300m to the road at map ref. SE585749. Here we turned left and walked about 100m to the junction. At the road junction we turned right off the road to follow the sign-posted public footpath into the woods. After about 250m we crossed a stone forest access track and continued along the path through the trees.

Badger sett by the path
Badger sett by the path

Start of the path into Yearsley Woods
Start of the path into Yearsley Woods

Forest access track heading down to a ruined farmstead
Forest access track heading down to a ruined farmstead

Forest access track heading down to a ruined farmstead
Forest access track heading down to a ruined farmstead

Ruined farmstead by the track
Ruined farmstead by the track

Forest track heading for the bottom fish pond
Forest track heading for the bottom fish pond

We walked along this track for about 400m to map ref. SE588763 where the track turned to the left. Again on the crown of the bend we took a footpath off to the right.

About 150m beyond the old farm buildings we turned left to follow a forest access track heading northwest. After about 500m the track turned left at map ref. SE588760, and here we took a track off to the right on the crown of the bend.

Our left turn just past the old farm buildings
Our left turn just past the old farm buildings

Forest track heading for the bottom fish pond
Forest track heading for the bottom fish pond

Track down to the bottom fish pond
Track down to the bottom fish pond

Muddy track down to the bottom fish pond
Muddy track down to the bottom fish pond

Crossing the fish pond dam
Crossing the fish pond dam

We walked across the dam where there was a jetty out into the pond from the dam. There were a few geese and ducks on the pond guarding their nesting territories.

This was a very muddy path dropping down to the edge of a large fish pond and the dam at the end of the pond.

The bottom fish pond
The bottom fish pond

Ampleforth Abbey & College seen from the fish pond dam
Ampleforth Abbey & College seen from the fish pond dam

The jetty from the dam of the bottom fish pond
The jetty from the dam of the bottom fish pond

The bottom fish pond, the largest of the tree ponds
The bottom fish pond, the largest of the tree ponds

Setting off from the bottom fish pond
Setting off from the bottom fish pond

Climbing up from the bottom fish pond
Climbing up from the bottom fish pond

This track was heading south at first and then bending round to head east, all the while following the beck upstream towards the upper fish ponds.

From the eastern end of the dam we followed a short path through the trees to a public footpath along a stony forest access track.

Large old beech tree by the path
Large old beech tree by the path

Rerooted branch of a horse chestnut tree
Rerooted branch of a horse chestnut tree

Approaching the dam of the middle pond
Approaching the dam of the middle pond

Overgrown path along the edge of the middle pond
Overgrown path along the edge of the middle pond

From the end of the dam we followed an overgrown path along the water's edge to the dam of the third pond at map ref. SE595759.

When we reached the dam at the next pond we dropped down from the track to the dam.

The middle pond
The middle pond

The middle pond
The middle pond

The top pond seen from the dam
The top pond seen from the dam

The dam of the highest of the 3 ponds
The dam of the highest of the 3 ponds


Track heading east away from the ponds

One of several large old beech trees by the track
One of several large old beech trees by the track

After about 500m we passed an old 'Nissen' type hut by the track where several walkers had found some rocks to sit on for their lunch break.

Here we returned to the forest access track and continued along it for about 500m to a junction at map ref. SE600760. Here we turned right to continue along another forest access track.

Path up to the track from the top dam
Path up to the track from the top dam

One of several large old beech trees by the track
One of several large old beech trees by the track

Nissen hut by the track
Nissen hut by the track

A large clear felled area beside the track
A large clear felled area beside the track

Looking back to the Nissen hut in the wood
Looking back to the Nissen hut in the wood

Forest track at the southern edge of the wood
Forest track at the southern edge of the wood

We passed mast and after another 250m we came to the road at the edge of the woods where our car was parked. The whole walk had been 9km and it had taken us almost three hours to walk. We didn't make any stops today except to take the photos and we drove back to a little cafe near Crayke for a coffee and a bacon sandwich to round off our morning's walk.

From the hut we continued for another 600m along the forest road heading roughly southwest to a sharp right and bend in the road. We continued around the bend and along the access road for another 500m to a junction where we turned left up a slope to the communications mast at map ref. SE592747. A pair of energetic mountain bikers passed us going up the slope and ahead of us was a group of dog walkers.

Returning along the eastern side of the wood
Returning along the eastern side of the wood

Forest track near the end of our walk
Forest track near the end of our walk

The track up past the communications mast back to the car
The track up past the communications mast back to the car