The total length of this walk was set from the Junction of New Road and Ketts Oak (B1172) to give an idea of distance for walkers from the village. The other options would be a quick walk from the layby at point 2 or as with all the other walks on the site link up with another walk for a longer more challenging stroll. The obvious choice for a longer walk would be by linking with the Old Hall School. and Park Farm Walk The walk is mostly along field margins which although set aside for walkers can be uneven and muddy in parts after rain.
1) The Walk starts with a stroll along the B1172. The fields to either side offer opportunities to catch up with the locals including woodpigeon rooks crows and jackdaws and the houses along the road with mature gardens should yield house sparrows and collared doves. This stretch has revealed buzzard and little owl in the past.
2) Shortly after Ketts Oak (click here for the history) you leave the B1172 and head West at a long line of trees.
The clearest path and best option is to the left of the tree line which will lead you into the tree lined oasis shown below.
3) This is a tree lined margin which I guess was planted as part of the countryside stewardship scheme. It is full of wild trees and shrubs that are designed to attract nature and the birds. In spring and early summer the sound of chiffchaffs and great tits and blue tits will fill the air and in winter the rowan berries will attract fieldfare and redwing as well as blackbird and mistlethrush. It is also no surprise that the nearest sightings of waxwing have been close to these trees.
4) At the next field margin as you are forced to change direction turn right and you get the view below. This stretch can hold game birds including pheasant and red-legged partridge although they have been less common in the last year. The mature trees will hold a host of woodpigeon which increase in number during the winter months.
The route is relatively well marked with markers as shown below so at the next field junction follow them right (west)
As you walk west along the next stretch keep looking and listening for the finches which will be likely to include goldfinch linnet and chaffinch if you have not seen them already.
5) The next part of the walk takes a dogleg west at the first of the horse paddocks and is a good place to look out for an evening barn owl. green woodpecker or more likely jackdaw. rook or carrion crow.
6) The next stretch as you approach wong farm walks alongside established orchards and paddocks and is ideal for all of the finch family and in summer you should see the first of the farms swallows. On an autumn or winter evening also expect to hear the calls of tawny owls.
7) The farm and stables hold a host of summer swallows and otherwise pied wagtails and blackbirds all year.
8) The next part of the route goes along the drive to the stables and round the field margins south at the end of the drive. The well established hedges and oak trees offer plenty of cover for roosting partridge and pheasants as well as the occasional little owl. Recent visits have also produced summer swallows and sparrowhawk. If you haven’t caught up with yellowhammer then this is a good stretch to hear or see this bird.
9) As you walk along the eastern return path there is a small pond which may attract drinking birds early morning although it is usually too small for birds such as moorhen.
10) This is the closest point to the Wong Wood which will be alive with tawny owls during the breeding season in late autumn,
The path is still well marked and contains a small area of reed mace and some game bird rearing pens. If you have not heard or seen them in summer listen out for willow warbler and chiffchaff. Look out for the return route back to the B1172 and relax !!