Enjoy a walk through this tranquil area of the Weald just south of historic Petworth. The route takes you through varied and interesting countryside surrounding 16th century fishing ponds at Burton Mill which mark the start and finish point.

1. Park in the small car park by the old mill house opposite the pond on Burton Park Road. As you leave the car park turn right and cross the road taking the footpath on the left through the white gates on a broad gravelled drive.

You will soon come to a gate entering the Sussex Wildlife Trust nature reserve. Go through the gateway and take the first path on the left leading towards Burton Mill pond. Follow this path as it winds through the trees until it re-joins the main path then turn left.

2. After approximately 200 yards you arrive at another gate – walk through and continue straight ahead. After a further 100 yards there is a grove of ancient sweet chestnut trees. Immediately past these chestnuts go through the gate and turn left following the lane through a small group of houses. Once past the houses and the green, continue straight ahead along the footpath leading to another gate.

Continue over the bridge past the newly constructed weir running off Chingford pond. After the pond the path curves to the left – follow the footpath through the woods. This soon forks – take the right hand path (can be muddy in wet weather).

When you reach the metal gate go through and continue immediately through the next set of gates past the farmhouse on the left.

Follow the road downhill.

3. After approximately 100 yards the road begins to rise. Take the bridleway to the right which takes you through mixed woodland (beech, oak, hazel, silver birch, yew, holly) until you reach a lane.

Turn right along the lane.

After passing a Georgian farmhouse on the left the road begins to rise. At the sign for Keyzaston House turn left. Follow the bridleway to the right of the cottage.

After approximately 200 yards a second bridleway comes off to the right. Continue straight ahead along the serpent trail.

Keep to this bridleway for approximately 500 yards until you reach another lane (large puddles can form after heavy rain).

4. At the lane, cross over and go through the gate entering Lords Piece and Sutton Common, an area of open access land. This is a site of special scientific interest containing breeding pairs of Nightjars and Woodlark, and a colony of endangered field crickets.

Follow the bridleway straight ahead through the heath taking the left hand fork up the hill towards the small patch of conifers.

Continue uphill and over through the trees (this path can become a little indistinct) until you come into open land with a white cottage in view (this is in fact an old school house).

Walk straight ahead over the small green (with the cottage to the right) heading towards the lane. Go through the gate and turn right. Follow the road past the old school house (still on your right). You will see an old milestone just after the gate.

Keep to this road for approximately 500 yards.

5. When you come to St Agatha’s Church on the left (a Norman 12th century church well worth a look), walk a further 50 yards and take the footpath to the left leading past an old stone built manor house.

Follow the path straight ahead with the hedgerow to your left. At the end of the field follow the signed footpath diagonally across the open field heading towards the right hand corner.

Leaving the farmland you reach a crossroads, take the path straight ahead with the woods on the left and the field to the right. Mud likely in places!

This path continues for some distance.

A farm track forks off the main path – ignore this track and continue walking ahead following the public footpath on the right leading downhill to a patch of woodland.

6. As you emerge from the woodland climb the stile and take the path uphill. Approximately 100 yards after the gate you reach a T junction. Continue left.

You soon pass a derelict farm building on the right. Continue through the field towards the lane. At the lane, turn right.

Follow the road downhill towards Duncton (signposted).

After approximately 300 yards you will arrive back at Burton Mill pond and the car park.

The essentials

Distance/Time: A circular walk of nearly five miles, taking two and a half hours.

By car: Burton Mill Pond is signposted from the A285 one mile north of Duncton. Parking is available in the car park by the Old Mill with room for around 12 cars. Postcode: GU28 0JR. Grid Ref: SU 979180 By public transport: Busses run to the nearby village of Duncton. Get off at Duncton Heath End bus stop and walk along Burton Park Road for around 15 minutes until you reach the starting point. Travel details at www.travelinesoutheast.org.uk, phone 0871 200 2233.

What’s Underfoot: Mainly flat, well-defined paths and tarmacked lanes through woods, heathland and farmland. Some areas of mud and standing water after periods of wet weather.

Thirsty work: The Cricketers country pub at Duncton or Badgers pub near Petworth.

So you don’t get lost: OS Explorer map 121, plus a compass for general direction.