This was an easy, mostly level walk starting from the car park for Chard reservoir. The car park is harder to find than it could be as it is now buried in a housing estate. The w3w address might help!

The reservoir is now a local nature reserve but it was originally built to supply water for the short-lived Chard Canal (much too expensive for the revenue it brought in and it was one of the last canals to be built at a time when the smart money was going into railways). There are still some remnants of the canal to be seen at various points along its length, and one section of dry canal can be seen two miles into this walk just north of Knowle St Giles. This walk is rich with remnants from the past: World War Two pill boxes, a gun platform from the same period and the now disused railway line; ironically it was the railway that sealed the canal’s fate.

From the car park the track skirts around the eastern side of the reservoir, now a haven for anglers and ornithologists, before heading north over farmland and passing though Woodhouse Farm, Knowle Green Farm and Bere Mills Farm before turning back via Peasmarsh Farm and joining the old railway line (now a cycle path and  footpath). We had to negotiate some electric fences at the start of this section just north of the reservoir where the footpath leaves a short section of minor road; there was some building work in progress here and the landowner’s placement of his/her electric fences fell somewhat short of being considerate to walkers.

The old railway lines passes a sewage treatment works (not great on a warm day) but there are also lots of remnants from the second world war visible from, and close to, the old track, including a pill box disguised as a chicken shed and a gun platform beside one of the bridges. There was also a pill box at Peasmarsh Farm just before you join the old line.

This was an interesting, easy walk on a sunny day with lots of archaeological interest thrown in as well as bluebells, woodland, lovely views and some peace and quiet.

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