Milton footpaths

Click on image for larger version.

Click on image for larger version.

In our last issue we focussed on footpaths in Shipton; so what has Milton got to offer?

Footpath 1 is a continuation of Green Lane which is off the Shipton Road. It goes over the Littlestock Brook after passing The Paddocks on your left. Just beyond The Paddocks footpath 8 goes off towards the children’s play area on the playing field but if you continue on footpath 1 you will catch glimpses of St Jude’s on your left and soon reach the Lyneham Road.

Here you can turn right and walk along the road to just beyond Heath Farm where the Oxfordshire Way crosses the road; footpath 9 on the plan. If you go left here you can walk through Bruern Woods to Bledington. There are lovely views of Bruern Abbey and a dazzling show of bluebells usually at their best in early May. If you turn right you cross a few fields with fine views of St Mary’s to arrive in Meadow Lane, Shipton.

Two paths start at the allotments. If you take footpath 2 this goes straight across the field and through the far hedge to finish up on the Bruern road. Footpath 3 goes off to the left towards a small stream and follows the line of the stream into the far corner of the field. This is the path that has recently been substantially improved by Milton volunteers (see elsewhere in this magazine) with a firm surface lined by newly planted trees. At the bridge, a permissive footpath provides a shortcut to path 4.

This may only be a small stream but it will finish up in the River Thames and is part of a flood prevention scheme. If you look carefully you will see bunds every now and then. These reduce the speed of flow when water levels get high and prevent flooding many miles further downstream.

Footpath 3 continues over a small bridge and then more or less heads directly for Bruern Grange. It is thought that somewhere along this route there once might have been fish ponds, a valuable food source in Medieval times, used by the monks of Bruern Abbey.

When you reach the road, turn left for a short distance and follow the waymark sign pointing across the fields to Fifield. This is footpath 10 which also joins up with footpath 4. There is a good track with a few gates and it finishes up on the High Street almost opposite the Baptist Church. Footpath 7 is popular with dog walkers as it leads across the fields to Shipton’s Wild Garden. At the time of writing, it is badly affected by house construction but this should be restored shortly.

Footpath 6 goes straight across this same ground, starting at the sharp bend in Frog Lane, popular again for dog walking although a high stile could put off some walkers. Footpath 5 is rarely used but it takes the intrepid rambler from Upper Milton, alongside the stream, to the low footbridge on path 7.

When walking along our footpath routes it is not just about the health benefits exercise can bring; it is about looking at what is around you, noticing the changes brought by the weather and seasons. Noticing the wildlife whether it be plants, birds or other creatures is what our English countryside is about and something to be used, enjoyed and preserved.

Rosemary Wilson

June-July 2019