Local walks

Photos from walk on Thursday 29th December from Scutchamer Knob to Old Street & West Ilsley

Looking to Upper Plantation and the Ridgeway


The ancient track from Old Street to Starveall Farm and West Ilsley

In 2019 I found this quote about it, but now can’t find the source:

“Bridleway 1 is an historic route in the Downs connecting West Ilsley with Old Street. The path is shown (status unknown) on John Roques’ 1761 Map for the King. It was later awarded as a Public Bridleroad and Footpath under the 1825 Enclosure Award. Later still it was set down by County Surveyor under the National Parks & Access to Countryside Act 1949.”


Looking back up to Scutchamer Knob, from whence we came




West Ilsley pond: duck, I’m coming in!


Rowles vineyard


Vineyard takes mixed family farm into new era

They talked about it for about six years and had weather stations all over the farm, but Tom says it was a slow burner at first. They also took their time to research.

Georgie says: “Where Dad thought would be a good site for the vineyard, bearing in mind he knows the farm so well, turned out to be full of frost pockets. A vineyard has a lifespan of approximately 40-50 years, which is why finding the right site is crucial. Once the vines are in, they’re in. And due to the high cost to establish, it represents a substantial investment.”

The size of the vineyard is 6.5ha, which in arable terms ‘sounds tiny’, adds Tom, but it is around 30,000 vines and ‘a lot of manual work’.

“There is a very narrow planting window from the middle to the end of May, after the spring frosts,” says Tom.

“The first vines (3.5ha) went in last year, with a further 3ha planted this May. We’d expect to get a small first crop in September 2023, but a conservative estimate is that it is about eight years before you make a return on the investment, hopefully sooner.”

The grape varieties planted are 3ha (7.4 acres) of Seyval Blanc, the most frost tolerant, with an estimated yield of 15-20 tonnes/ha (6-8 tonnes/acre) when established, 1.75ha (4.3 acres) of Pinot Noir and the same of Bacchus, which have been planted in warmer parts of the vineyard, both with estimated yields of 12t/ha (4.9t/acre).

Source: Farmers Guardian May 2022


Sign in W. Ilsley: No riding or cycling without Owners Permission?


South end of Folly Down


As we walked up to the Ridgeway, some noticed a barn and a farm house tucked away to our left.  That’s Folly Farm….”a working beef, sheep and arable farm in Berkshire, in the heart of the Wessex Downs AONB


Here you can unplug and stay in Little Fleece.  “Set in its own very private paddock next door to the farmhouse, this rather luxurious shepherds hut has everything you need for a comfortable stay, whether you’re a seasoned glamper or recent convert.


Find out more.


The landmark trees of Bury Down

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