CUTNALL Green occupies a slight rise in the landscape between the valleys of Elmley Brook and Elmbridge Brook.
The eponymous elms have gone from the area and so have most of the apple and pear orchards which used to be an important part of the local economy.
A few orchards do survive, however, and you will pass them on this walk. Some environmental enhancement is under way, with new woods planted on former fields at Broad Alley and a stewardship agreement in place at Great Horton Farm.
This involves farming the land in a more sustainable way, as well as providing extra access in the form of a permissive footpath available until September 2016.
The path runs along field edges (mostly pasture) bounded by a brook and patches of woodland. It also passes a number of ponds but sadly these are currently dry following last year’s drought.
Please note that dogs are not permitted on this path during the nesting season, which is defined in this context as April to June.
However, given suitable weather conditions, birds may start nesting well before April, and mallard ducks frequent the brook all year, so if you take a dog outside of the nesting season it would still be advisable to keep it on the lead. If you want to take a dog during the nesting season there are public footpaths between New Road and Horton Lane which may be used instead.
Start: Cutnall Green, a village on the A442 north of Droitwich; grid ref SO880685.
Length: 6½ miles/10.5km.
Maps: OS Explorer 204, OS Landrangers 139 and 150.
Terrain: Pasture, paddocks, arable and woodland; no hills.
Footpaths: The paths at Great Horton Farm are exemplary. Elsewhere, things are generally less impressive, with poor waymarking in places and some dodgy stiles which may prove difficult for less agile walkers. However, all the paths are well-trodden and there are no obstructions.
Parking: Find suitable roadside parking in Cutnall Green.
Public transport: Bus or train to either Droitwich or Kidderminster, which are linked by Diamond 133 via Cutnall Green, Mon-Sat only; worcestershire.gov.uk/bustimetables or 01905 765765.
Refreshments: Chequers Inn, Post Office Stores (hot snacks and drinks to take away) and Lord Morton’s Tea Room (open daily except Sunday afternoons), all at Cutnall Green.
1 Go along School Lane, past the shop and tea room. Turn left on New Road and walk past houses and playing fields. Take a path running along the edge of the playing fields then continue straight on across farmland until you come to a path junction at a stile just beyond a hedge corner.
Cross the stile and follow a waymarked path through two fields to a lane; though it’s not obvious, the path is supposed to go diagonally left in the second field, to a stile in the corner, rather than straight on to a gate.
2 Turn left along the lane. Go straight on at a crossroad, climb to the top of a slight rise and take a path on the right. Follow the right-hand field edge to a corner then go obliquely across the field, heading towards Horton Lane.
Cross the railway then pass to the right of a pond. Cross a driveway and then a footbridge to enter pastureland. The public footpath goes to the left here, to Horton Lane. Until 2016, however, we can turn right instead, following a permissive path through 10 fields.
It stays by the edge, close to a brook, and is marked with greenand- white waymarks.
3 Turn left on Doverdale Lane then immediately left again on Horton Lane. Soon after passing Great Horton Farm take an easily missed path on the right, opposite Little Horton Farm. Go straight across three fields, heading for the left corner of King’s Wood. Turn left when you come to the wood, and then immediately right, so that you walk along a field edge to the left of the wood. At the next corner continue across the field, away from King’s Wood, heading past a dried-up pond to meet a field corner near a pylon. Go through a hedge gap then walk across the next field towards a house. Pass to the right of it then turn left to the A442. Turn left on the verge.
4 Cross to a track on the other side of the road. After you’ve crossed the railway, turn left on a field-edge path (Monarch’s Way) which runs parallel with the railway. When you enter the third field there’s a choice of paths, though only the Monarch’s Way is waymarked, going diagonally across the field. Take it if you wish, or continue along the field edge to the next corner before turning right. Both paths have been reinstated by the farmer after ploughing and both lead to the same point, where again there’s a choice, properly waymarked this time. Ignore the Monarch’s Way and take the other one, going across a field to a stile at the far end. Proceed through woodland to a lane at Broad Alley.
5 Turn right then take the next path on the left. Go diagonally right through a field newly planted with young trees, to a junction at the far side. Turn left on a path which is easily followed to Addis Lane. Turn left to Cutnall Green.
Before you reach the village you’ll pass a patch of access land, insufficiently signed, at Bryan’s Green. It’s just before Elmbridge Fishery, should you wish to explore the green, which comprises woodland and a pond.