Arley

Arley Map

Parish Information:

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Walk Description:

An easy walk through Arley woods and village.

Leave the North Arden Heritage Trail at the corner of Oakridge Golf Club. Take the well trodden path, cross the brook and continue along, eventually following the path alongside the school playing fields and exiting into Herbert Fowler School drive. Bear right and then left onto Ansley Lane.

Upon reaching the Wagon Load of Lime pub, turn left into Rectory Road. Then opposite Arley Church (1), turn right into Oak Avenue, passing Arley Sports Centre. From Arley Sports Centre continue along the road which becomes Woodside and then up the hill, turning right at Wood Lane, which is signposted to Ballard’s Green. After about half a mile turn right at the waymarker post into a wide gated track into Arley Woods (2). Follow the waymarked path through the woods. Keep straight ahead ignoring any side paths, eventually coming to a waymark sign where the paths divide.

To return to Arley Sports Centre, bear right and exit the woods to the left of Keepers Cottage. Pick up the waymarked path again to the right of the cottage and keeping the hedgerow to your left, head down the field towards the houses. Exit into Ash Grove and bear left onto Oak Avenue, with Arley Sports Centre to your right.

To return to the ‘Wagon Load of Lime’ public house, continue straight ahead through the woods, bearing right at the last marker post. At the edge of the wood, after passing the Arley heritage feature (3), go through a gate to a paved track. Continue along this until you reach your starting point.

Points of Interest:

1. On a fine day, the red sandstone church of St Wilfrid glows in the sunshine. This stocky medieval building stands on a slight mound.

2. Arley Woods is at present a mixed woodland owned and maintained by the Forestry Commission. It has been planted with conifers, which are easy to grow and useful for industry. However, it is an ancient woodland site. Over time the coniferous trees will be removed and its native broadleaf character will be restored.

3. The Arley Heritage Feature: The people of Arley chose the snail bench as their heritage interpretation feature. School children took part in modelling workshops to develop the themes and ideas for this popular woodland seat. The back rest is carved with the first two lines of a poem by William Henry Davies called “Leisure”.

A unique feature of Arley Woods is its rare colony of Red Wood Ants (Formica rufa). These ants have been here for at least a hundred years and live in mounds built of forest material, like pine needles. These nests are usually on the edge of cleared areas, where they are sheltered from winds, but get plenty of sunlight. The carvings on the seat feature the ants, together with many other woodland residents, and a scene from the parish’s mining heritage. If you bring paper and crayons, you can make rubbings to take home and keep.

 

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