Leg 1: Steart to Combwich [11.5k]

NOTE: Some details may alter as circumstances change, so keep looking [updated 04/10/2017]

Start at WWT Main Car Park - End at Combwich Harbour

Route:

Directions from Steart:

From start by car park entrance run northeast along Stert Drove.
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1.11k       ♦ Road is open to traffic, beware of moving vehicles
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Reaching Bridgwater Bay NNR car park keep following road as it curves to the right and then continue ahead.
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0.45k      ♦ Road is open to traffic, beware of moving vehicles
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Just before Steart Marshes Car Park, spot finger post on LHS and head through adjacent gate onto 'England Coast Path' toward Stert point.
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1.00k      ♦ Beware of dips, board walks, drainage pipes and other trip hazards hidden in grass
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Near finger post at end of path from Dowells Farm NNR car park 'England Coast Path' rises slightly becomes more pebbly.  Continue ahead on path by fence line.
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1.00k       ♦ Look out for brambles spreading onto path and areas of loose pebbles in places
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Reaching wooden gate, pass through and go right and along grassy footpath through field toward gate in near corner.
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0.05k        ♦ May be farm stock in field, with associated slippery deposits
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Pass through farm gate onto access and continue ahead.
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0.25k        ♦ Track can be rutted and may have slippery deposits
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At 'T' junction of tracks, turn right and keep following track as shortly afterwards it corners to left.
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0.35k        ♦ Loose gravel in places
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Go straight ahead though farm gate where track changes to tarmac. Stay on road.
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0.48k         ♦ Road is open to traffic, beware of moving vehicles
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By Dowells Farm turn left off of tarmac road along graveled access track heading toward flood marsh.
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0.21k         ♦ Loose gravel in places
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Go straight ahead though metal farm gate and shortly after turn right through wooden pedestrian gate onto smooth lightly graveled path running alongside fence at edge of flood marsh.
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1.17k        ♦ Watch out for cyclists and bird watchers concentrating on things other than runners
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Approaching Steart Gate Car Park, stay on path as it bears left to follow along edge of the flood marsh.
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0.72k        ♦ Keep eye out for cyclists and bird watchers concentrating on things other than runners
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After being boringly straight for a while and when nearing road, path curves hard left around a corner in the flood marsh.
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1.38k       ♦ Don't forget those cyclists and bird watchers
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Almost back to starting car park, route curves left and finally starts heading towards the river while following the edge of the flood marsh.
[This is a really good spot for teams to see their runners go by and to give encouragement as they head off to Combwich]
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0.17k       ♦ Popular area so watch out for cyclists, bird watchers, picnickers etc
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Path forks twice in quick succession.  Bear left at both forks, toward River Parrett and Combwich as signed by finger post.  This will take you past the 'Mendip Hide' and then keeping marsh on LHS head toward river.
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0.97k        ♦ Run quietly past the hide and be aware of walkers, bird watchers and cyclist concentrating on other things
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At river, avoid temptation for swim and bear right to head along riverside path.
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0.70k         ♦ Mixed underfoot conditions
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Cross over 'E30 South Cylce Outfall' drain and go through gate 100yds ahead.
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0.25k        ♦ Mixed underfoot conditions
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By bench seat, take grassy path forking left off main path to keep by river until reaching harbour entrance.
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0.52k        ♦ Mixed underfoot conditions
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Turn inland at harbour entrance and sprint toward obvious red and white obelisk.
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0.03k        ♦ Mixed underfoot conditions
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Handover point to next leg is at big red and white buoy/obelisk - Well done!

Additional Information:

The starting point for Leg 1 and the race as a whole is by the main car park of the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust [WWT].  There should be a reasonable amount of space available given the early start time of the event.  However please be considerate to other users as WWT have kindly allowed us to use this area.  There are toilets at the car park, which are normally open from 09:00hr, but may open earlier on occasions [fingers crossed, or legs crossed].

At Combwich there should be ample on road parking on Riverside [that's the road's name and quite apt] between the Combwich Anchor pub and the Harbour.

Quick links to other pages:

Overview of event
Relay 1 Leg 1 Leg 2 Leg 3 Leg 4
Relay 2 Leg 5 Leg 6 Leg 7 Leg 8
Key notes & information

Even more information:

The nature reserves at Steart have areas operated by both WWT and Natural England. 

The WWT is a conservation charity that saves wetlands, which are essential for life itself.  Wetlands are the primary source of drinking water for people and wildlife. They also connect us with nature, and with ourselves, through beautiful landscapes and inspiring encounters with wildlife.

National Nature Reserves [NNRs] were established to protect some of our most important habitats, species and geology, and to provide ‘outdoor laboratories’ for research.  Most "National Nature Reserves" offer great opportunities to schools, specialist interest groups and to the public to experience wildlife at first hand and to learn more about nature conservation.