LOOK out for wildlife on this easy walk in pleasant countryside. Lapwings, skylarks and little owls are among the more scarce birds you may see.

Much more common is the buzzard, its ubiquity emphasised by the choice of its image as an appropriate waymark for a new Martley Circular Walk, a short section of which is used in this walk.


Start: Church Lane, Martley, grid ref SO756597.

Length: Seven-and-a-half miles/12km.

Maps: OS Explorer 204, OS Landranger 150.

Terrain: Pasture and arable, very muddy, no hills.

Footpaths: Most are good or excellent, but several are poor. Many paths which were notoriously bad for decades are now hugely improved, largely due to the valiant efforts of local volunteers, but already farmers are allowing brambles and hawthorn to creep back across some stiles and footbridges. Some paths haven’t been reinstated after ploughing and the path from Wichenford to Monkwood Green is very poor.

Stiles: 26.

Parking: By St Peter’s Meadow, Church Lane.

Buses: LMS 308/310, Mon-Sat; worcestershire.gov.uk/bustimetables or 01905 765765.

Refreshments: Martley and Castle Hill.


1 Begin by following the Martley Circular Walk – head a little way up Church Lane then leave it on the left and follow the buzzard waymarks to the village centre.

Leave the Circular Walk here and turn right on the Worcester road.

After 175m cross the road to a pair of footpaths – take the right-hand one which goes diagonally across a field. Enter the grounds of Chantry School, proceed to a junction and turn left, rejoining the Martley Circular Walk, which takes you back into the field and then to the right. Follow the buzzard waymarks for nearly three-quarters of a mile.

2 Leave the Martley Circular Walk soon after Alden’s Farm, where two paths leave the farm lane on the right. The Circular Walk goes left, but take the other path, to the far left corner of a field. Cross Laughern Brook to enter another field and go left to an oak tree at a hedge corner. Walk to the right of the hedge, then into a young wood.

Turn left by the left-hand edge of the wood and ignore branching paths. After 200m you should be walking along the right-hand edge of the wood. Go across the adjacent field when you come to a fingerpost. Cross a stile, turn right and walk behind the houses at Ross Green. Fork left at a junction to meet a track (Rosses Lane) and turn right, following it to the corner of a wood.

3 Turn left along the woodland edge. Go left at the next corner and follow the track to a lane. Turn right, then take a track on the left after 400m (Guises Lane) and follow it towards Wichenford. The first part of the track may be flooded in places and the second part is overgrown – if you prefer, you can use a footpath running parallel with the track on the right. There are several points where you can swap between the two.

4 Eventually, the track becomes seriously overgrown, just before it bends left. Take to the field edge and then join a well-used path going diagonally across the field to Venn Lane at Wichenford. Turn left, then right, towards Hallow.

Take the second path on the left, at Bush Farm. Walk towards the farmhouse then turn right through the farmyard. Proceed to a ‘stile’ (the term is used loosely) and walk across two fields. Go diagonally across a third field to a ‘gate’ (more accurately, a barrier) in the far right corner. Lacking hinges, it is tied into place and care is required if you climb over it; the twine may be tightly knotted but the gate is loosely fixed and unstable. Walk through two more fields to Green Farm and through the farmyard to Monkwood Green.

5 Keep straight on for about 250m then turn right to meet a road near a phone box. Turn right to find a footpath on the left. Walk along the right hand edge of two fields to two stiles in the corner of the second. Cross the one on the right and go along a short green lane, cross a brook and turn left.

Keep left through two fields then turn right towards Greenstreet Farm. Pass to the right of the farm buildings, going straight on at a junction. Proceed a further 200m to another junction.

6 Turn right to a hedge corner then go diagonally across two fields to Hill Farm. Pass to the right of the farm then just to the left of a pool to reach a path junction. Cross the farm drive and descend to a field corner. Cross a bridge and go to the far left corner of a field. Follow the right-hand edge of the next field, cross a footbridge and keep to the righthand edge of another field. When the hedge comes to an end keep straight on. If the path has not been reinstated after ploughing, be guided by two oak trees, beyond which the route is obvious to Venn Lane.

7 Turn left, then right on Poplar Road. Take the first path on the left. Cross two ploughed fields, then continue across pasture towards Buryendtown Farm. Go through a gate and continue for a while before bearing left to pass through the farmyard. Enter a field and turn left to re-join Venn Lane. Turn right to the Masons Arms and cross Martley Road to a path opposite.

Cross three fields to the far left corner of the third. Cross Laughern Brook and turn left. Ignore a path branching right and keep to the field edge until a well-made path strikes out across the field towards St Peter’s Church.

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