Wayward Wanderers Walking Group

Oakford and its Environs

August 09, 2010, prb, Comments: 0

Before yesterday, few people in the group knew where Oakford was.  Now, it is a little more widely known.  The walk started at the village hall, which is located below the village and on its east side.   This was slightly unfortunate because we had to climb up through the village and then on upwards, following a circuit lying to the west of the village.   Nevertheless the climbing helped strengthen the legs.

After we had passed the centre of the village and the pub that is reknowned for its chips, we left the road and took a field path to the left.   Rising gently and presenting the first of many elevated views, this led us southwestwards, by Nethercott Farm, and then down a steep grassy slope to the bottom of the Iron Mill Stream valley. 

 Here we joined a lane and walked past the Bellbrook Trout Fishery to Spurway Mill.

Leaving the lane here we climbed steadily through Spurway Wood, passing a  large game bird breeding pen, before eventually emerging onto fields again.   A further short distance took us to the probably abandoned Spurway Barton farmstead, a sorry sight indeed..... 



From here we climbed gently up the farm track to the west.  This deteriorated before long and we were faced with a seriously boggy stretch, shown on the map as a sheep dip, that needed great care if one was to avoid getting a bootful.  At the far end there was a metal gate we had to pass through.  Trouble was that opening the gate outward meant that someone had to go through a very boggy patch.  Once it was open, though, several of the lady members revisited their childhoods by standing on the gate and swinging it shut, whereupon they gracefully dismounted - keeping their  feet dry.  

This negotiated, we traversed several grassy fields, before encountering a couple of derelict cars in a paddock.  Here we came to the West Spurway farmstead and, turning right onto another farm track, soon after, another lane.   At the lane/track junction we came across a Mid-Devon style post box that we thought was worth a picture......


The next stretch was along the lane, heading northwards.  This was pretty flat and uneventful, crossing the top of the plateau at an elevation of some 260m, which gave us wide views all around.
Just past Esworthy Cross we took another farm track off to the right.  

This offered us splendid views to the left, ......

and mushrooms in the wide verge to the right, some of which were harvested.   

We then passed West Mildon and soon after reached East Mildon.  Here our path left the track by some farm buildings.  Despite being confronted by a worrying warning sign.............

 .........we entered the field, but kept a very watchful eye all about. Had there been a bull we could have been in difficulty - we had to cross three fields which each had gaps in their boundaries, not gates, so we had to cross all three before we could count ourselves safe.  We then dropped down to a recently renovated farmstead and a stream valley, finding some wild raspberries alongside.  There was a steep climb up the other side of the valley on the approach to Ford Farm , and shortly after this we emerged on the lane by High Bolham.

We turned south on this, then south-east, to leave the road for a field path on our right.  This took us across a field, a stream bridge with a large tree growing awkwardly across it, a small private recreational area, and a paddock with some sheep in it, before we joined the road just above the centre of Oakford village.  Here we turned left, downhill, passing the pub.........

............ and the now closed village shop, and returned to the village hall car park and the walk's end.  

This varied and quite strenuous route extended to about 7.4 miles in all.  The track has been uploaded to GPSies and may be viewed at:











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