THIS walk should be done very soon, before restoration work starts on the Salwarpe section of the Droitwich canal.

At present this is one of the loveliest and most wildlife-rich parts of the entire canal, with extensive reedbeds, home to birds, mammals and invertebrates of various species.

The route also includes woodland at Brownheath Common and two nature reserves which are probably unknown to almost all but local people. The larger of the two is Droitwich Community Woods Local Nature Reserve, a mixture of woodland and grassland bordered by a brook.

The other is a long, linear wood bordering Pulley Lane and Worcester Road. The western part of it is owned by the Woodland Trust, which calls it Copcut, while the eastern part has been named Pulley Lane Open Space by Wychavon District Council.


Start: Copcut, on A38 near Droitwich; grid ref SO886609.

Length: Seven miles/11km.

Maps: OS Explorer 204, OS Landranger 150.

Terrain: Farmland, woodland, towpath; mostly flat.

Footpaths: Most are fine but a few are poor – see directions for details.

Stiles: Seven.

Parking: Lay-by north of Brookside Farm Shop.

Buses: 144, every 20 minutes (hourly on Sundays); or 01905 765765.

Refreshments: Brookside Farm Shop and the Copcut Elm, the Red Lion opposite Colford Walk and the Swan at Martin Hussingtree, near Droitwich.


1 Walk along the footway beside Worcester Road (A38) towards Droitwich then turn right on Pulley Lane. After about 50m there is unofficial access to Copcut on the left – push through the cow parsley to find a good path. If you miss this rather overgrown gap you’ll find the official entrance about 100m further on. Turn left and walk through the wood until forced to go left to Worcester Road.

Turn right on a wide grass verge for 200m, then turn right at a roundabout, along Addyes Way.

Turn left across grassland (Falsam Pitts) after about 200m and walk to the Primsland Way/Worcester Road (B4090) junction. Cross Worcester Road to a bridleway, Colford Walk.

2 Follow the bridleway past allotments and woodland. Keep right at a fork and then straight on at all subsequent junctions, eventually crossing the railway and proceeding to Old Chawson Lane. Turn left, pass Chawson Farmhouse and Butterworth Barn then turn right to New Chawson Lane. Turn left, pass under Roman Way (A38) then take a footpath on the right. Walk through nettles, keeping roughly straight on to emerge in grassland bordered by trees – this is Droitwich Community Woods. Turn left, then turn right downhill at a numbered post (part of a nature trail).

3 Cross a footbridge, rejoining the public footpath. Walk through trees to a large arable field and go straight across to the far side.

Cross a stile in the hedge and proceed across a lawn, drawing close to a wooden fence. Cross a driveway then continue beside the fence, past Salwarpe Court. Turn right on Copcut Lane, then right again to walk through the churchyard. Continue through woodland to the Droitwich Canal.

Turn right on the towpath and follow it for about a mile.

4 Cross the canal when you come to a footbridge, just after a lock.

Turn left past the lock to find access to a field. Follow a wellmade path across it to a junction soon after a solitary tree. Turn right. Soon after passing another solitary tree you’ll see two paths going right – neither is waymarked but take the second one. Continue across another field, roughly following Martin Brook to a lane.

Turn left, then take the first path on the right, by Acorn Farm. Cross the railway and keep straight on until you come to woodland. Fork left through the trees, proceed along a field edge to Church Lane at Martin Hussingtree and walk to the A38.

5 Turn left then cross to a footpath. It’s overgrown at first but soon improves and follows a field edge to Pershore Lane (A4538).

Cross to a field-edge path at Ashfields. Continue across a second field, moving away from the hedge to cross a stile near an ash tree at the far side. Turn right through another field, go through a gate in the corner and turn left on a bridleway.

6 Turn right at a junction, following the bridleway through a wood then across two fields to a lane. Turn left to Brownheath Common. Ignore a public footpath on the left as it is completely overgrown but turn left on a good path a little further on. Turn right at a junction and walk to another junction. Go straight on – it looks impossibly overgrown but it’s clear after the first few paces. Leave the common at a stile and cross a field to the far side. Proceed along the left edge of the next field to the southern corner of Oakley Wood.

7 Turn left by the edge of the wood. Go through a gate at the next corner and downhill towards Oakley Farm. There is currently no waymarking here, it is impossible to follow the path shown on OS maps and you will probably find electric fences crossing the field.

Duck under them or look for places where you can cross them safely.

The best option seems to be to head down towards the right-hand farm building to find a small gate, then go through the farmyard, turning right to follow the farm drive to Pulley Lane. Go through a gate opposite, into Pulley Lane Open Space. Turn left and walk through woodland almost to the end of the lane, back to where you entered the wood at the start of the walk. Rejoin Pulley Lane, walk to the Copcut Elm and turn left to Brookside.

Worcester News recommends the use of OS Explorer Maps, your ideal passport to navigating the countryside. This walk is based on OS Explorer 204.