Thursday, 9 July 2020

Walking in the Lower Windrush Valley - Spotlight on the Gill Mill Circular


We recently completed a project to improve and promote three circular walks in the Lower Windrush Valley. Today we’re putting a spotlight on one of those routes, the Gill Mill Circular Walk.


New waymarking discs signposting the route
Distance: 8 kilometres, stile free
Time: Allow at least 1 hour 45 minutes
Start and end point: Rushy Common Car Park, Grid reference SP 380 074, Postcode OX29 6UJ
The route begins at Rushy Common Nature Reserve Car Park where you start by walking towards Ducklington along two permissive bridleways.

Down Valley Way bridleway
The bridleways were opened 2015 by Smiths Bletchington as part of the Gill Mill quarry development. They link in with existing Rights of Way, as well as the Windrush Path, creating a circular route that connects Ducklington, Rushy Common Nature Reserve and Hardwick.
 
A lot of the area is currently farmed but over time the scenery from the will evolve to quarry workings, and eventually a 60 hectare reedbed and lakes created for nature conservation and recreation.
 
Before reaching Ducklington you’ll cross the western arm of the River Windrush. Keep your eyes out for Water Voles in this area as they’re often sighted from the bridge.

Water Vole on the River Windrush. Photo credit: Justin Hoffmann

View from the bridge crossing the Windrush
Once nearing Ducklington you will join the Windrush Path and follow the banks of the River Windrush south before crossing West back towards Tar Lakes and the walk’s conclusion.


The Windrush Path


Tar Lakes



Tar Lakes

 
Thank you to Smiths Bletchington for their support and maintenance of the permissive footpaths and bridleways and our funders for the project - Trust for Oxfordshire’s Environment (TOE) with funding from Grundon Waste Management Ltd through the Landfill Communities Fund.


Scarlett Tiger Moth on Windrush Path


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