Witchford Walks - Walk 1
A pleasant sheltered walk by hedgerow and meadow along ancient paths to the south of the village; approximate distance, 1 mile.
Starting from the Village Inn go west along Main Street passing Witchford House on the left. At the footpath sign, turn left and go through a wooden gate keeping on the footpath which passes along the side of No.97 Main Street. After a short distance there is another gate which takes you into a field belonging to Witchford House. Continue along beside the hedge, over a footbridge and pass through a gate. Bear left and after a short distance go through another gate to walk beside a small pond recently re-established by the Open Spaces Group and given the name of Toad Corner.
Continue over a wooden sleeper bridge and alongside the ditch into Holts End where on the right a gate takes you into a long meadow. Before entering the meadow venture down Holts End a short distance, where from a gate on the left is a good view of St Andrew’s Church. In the long meadow (shown as Clover Piece on a map of 1840) the footpath runs along the line of the medieval field strips; these give the surface its corrugated 'ridge and furrow' appearance.
Clover Piece is enclosed pasture, but in the Middle Ages it was part of Hale Field, one of the four open fields into which the arable land of Witchford was divided. Each villager held several long, narrow strips in each of these fields. At the end of the long meadow bear left onto a path along the boundary of an old orchard.
Notice the 19th century farmhouse on your right, now used as a barn. A gate leads you into a pasture once used by the village for recreation – it is still owned by the village of Witchford. The pond immediately to the right on entering the field is shown on Ordnance maps back as far back as 1861 and has been re-established by the Open Spaces Group in 2008 with an award from ‘02 It’s Your Community’.
Continue alongside the hedge on the left and on reaching the gate at the Grunty Fen Road turn left across the entrance to Fairview onto a footpath along the field boundary parallel to the road. This is a Permissive Path kindly allowed by Mrs D Field which finishes at the entrance to Holts End, thus avoiding the busy Grunty Fen Road.
From Holts End continue along the verge beside the Grunty Fen Road and turn left at Main. Street to return to The Village Inn.