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Download a PDF of the walk here or keep scrolling to follow the instructions for the walk on this page.
1. From the entrance to Westons head uphill on the road for approximately 200m to a waymark post on your right.
2. Walk up the steps and follow the path, keeping the metal fence on your right.
3. Go through the metal gate and into our orchard. It is a great place for wildlife with old perry pear and apple trees. Walk across the orchard, bearing slightly right. Look out for an old willow pollard. This is an important veteran tree providing a home for a variety of species. Proceed to a metal gate into another orchard.
4. Note the wildflower field margins we’ve added to support wildlife. Turn right , keeping the hedge on your right. Look out for the veteran oak tree in the hedgerow. Walk past the rear of the Cider Mill site and bear left, reaching a gate on your right.
5. Cross the field to a pedestrian gate into a road (Watery Lane). Turn left and then right into another orchard, signposted on your right.
6. Walk straight ahead through a couple of traditional orchards, separated by a stile, before crossing a further stile into a younger, ‘bush orchard’. Walk straight ahead through the gaps in the trees to the opposite side.
7. At the far end of the orchard cross a stile and bridge into a field. Bear diagonally left and head for the far left of the field. Pass through a wide gateway and continue with the hedge on your right.
8. The path crosses a stile and continues with the hedge on your left. Continue for approximately 50m looking out carefully for a bridge and stile through the hedge on your left. Cross this, and walk along the side of the field with the hedge on your left.
9. Continue straight ahead down a dark tunnel of trees. The woodland to your right is an older orchard showing you what can happen if the trees are left to go wild. When you emerge there is a house on your right and a tree plantation on your left. Walk straight up the track for 500m.
10. At the end of the track turn right onto the road.
11. After approx 200m, the road sweeps round to the right, but take the left hand turn and follow this lane for a further 300m.
11. After approx 200m, the road sweeps up and round to the right, but take the left hand turn and follow this lane uphill for a further 300m.
12. At the waymark post on your right go through the gate, walk along the right hand side of the orchard and follow the fence as it turns steeply uphill for a short distance to a stile on your right.
13. Walk up the left hand of the meadow. This is a species rich grassland that is great for insects and other wildlife. Towards the top look back for beautiful views of the Malvern Hills and towards Ledbury.
14. At the top of the field cross over the stile and pass across a narrow bird cover crop and over the fence into a field. Turn diagonally left, heading towards the left of a green metal farm building. As you approach the far side of the field, look for a wooden stile in the hedge to your left.
15. Turn right up the lane for 200m before taking a track on your left immediately before the white building & house. Continue on this track for 200m.
16. Pass to the left of the imposing metal gates of Little Puckmore and into a field. Walk round the field keeping the hedge on your left. On reaching the top corner of the field, look out for a stile in the hedge on your left.
17. Walk ahead with the hedge on your right (and some more great views of the Malvern Hills) for about 100m.
18. Look for a stile on your right and cross onto a track next to a contemporary built house. Walk down the track for a short way to reach a waymark post on the left.
19. Take the path downhill, passing close to a group of oak trees in the middle of the field.
20. When you reach the road, walk downhill for 400m back to Westons Cider Mill and the start point. Time for some well-deserved refreshments and a rest!
Herefordshire Wildlife Trust is the largest membership-based wildlife organisation in the county, dedicated to inspiring people about wildlife, acting as a wildlife champion and creating wildlife havens.
To find out more or become a member please go to www.herefordshirewt.org
Veteran trees are an important part of the Herefordshire landscape and an even more important resource for wildlife. These ancient trees provide habitats for a range of species and are particularly important for bats, fungi and invertebrates. This is because they usually have dead wood and cavities.
Many of the orchards you will see at the Cider Mill and farm are described as traditional orchards. Typically a traditional orchard contains larger, older trees with bigger gaps in between them. They can be very good for wildlife because the old trees have holes and deadwood for animals to live in and the grassland in between can often be rich in wildflowers. Some orchard trees, particularly perry pears can live to a great age and are an important part of Herefordshire’s landscape and history as one of the most important fruit producing regions in the country.
Many of the UK’s farmland birds have declined in recent years and the song of the skylark and yellowhammer have diminished from much of the country. Even the sparrow, once very common, has sharply declined. By creating field margins the Westons farm is providing food to help these birds through the Winter. Sitting in the garden at the ‘Cider Mill Visitor Centre’ you are surrounded by sparrows, using the nestboxes ‘that have been installed’ on the surrounding buildings. The company also take part in a regular bird survey which shows how effect the farm, orchards and wetlands are for wildlife.
The Westons team have created wildflower field margins. These put on spectacular displays of colour in the spring and autumn. They are very important for many species and on a warm day you will see butterflies and bumblebees feeding and foraging on the blossoms. You’ll also hear grasshoppers and crickets chirping in the long grasses. The margins also provide homes for small mammals and are a favoured hunting ground for owls and other predators.
These field margins provide a home for the pollinators needed to pollinate the fruit trees to help the cider apples to grow and eventually become refreshing cider.