Walking on the Estate


WALKING ON THE ESTATE


Here on the South Ormsby Estate we have walks that take in the beautiful countryside of the South Lincolnshire Wolds.

We are deep in the heart of this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the walks have some fantastic views across this glorious countryside and as the season change, so does the variety of flora and fauna that is displayed along the route – a delight across the year awaits!


The Wesley Walk


Distance – 5.8km Time – 1.5 hrs Terrain – Field, road, farm track Difficulty – Easy

The Wesley Walk is named in honour of John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, whose father was the rector of the South Ormsby parish between 1690 and 1694, just prior of John’s birth.

There are a number of large Beech and Lime trees within the parkland, most of which date from when the landscape was laid out. Many of the younger trees were planted by Adrian Massingberd-Munday, who was well known for his love of trees, and planted a wood on his estate in the Lincolnshire Wolds every year between 1949-1999. In early summer watch out for the white flowers of May (Hawthorn) accompanied by the white ‘fuzz’ of Cow Parsley along the hedge bottoms. Together these species, with their open flowers, are an important early season nectar source for butterflies and other insects.
Later in the season, the May disappears but the Cow Parsley is replaced by a similar species, Rough Chervil, which again provides food to a suite of insects as summer progresses. Crosswort, a yellow flower with leaves in crosses across the stem, is also common in hedge bottoms here. At Harden’s Lane, in the southwest of the estate, the arable farming gives way to pastoral farming with cattle-grazed fields with irregular boundary hedges and relict ridge and furrow grassland, evidence of Medieval oxen ploughing. This habitat is ideal for Barn Owl and these can be seen along the hedge-lines here in the evening or after dark all year round.

The Skipwith Stride


Distance – 5.6km Time – 2 hrs Terrain – Field, woodland, road, farm track Difficulty – Moderate
Before the Massingberd- Mundys lived at South Ormsby, the Skipwiths called the hall their home. Before that it was probably decided as a location for a settlement because of the presence of water appearing through springs in the chalk; an ideal location in the Lincolnshire Wolds to build a small village and, eventually, a large estate. The ground is steeper up near Bluestone Heath Road and there is evidence of Medieval ploughing ridges. This area is exposed and there are wide grass verges where, in the summer, you can see a large number of grass species. Look for Cocksfoot with its eponymous shaped flowerheads and Yorkshire Fog, with its softly hairy stems and leaves and pinkish flowerheads in the Summer months. The part of the walk that takes you through Furzes Close includes trees of differing ages and is characterised by having a very rich ground flora. If you time it right, you will see Bluebells, Lesser Celandine, Red Campion, Ramsons, Wood Anemone and many other species. However, as with many vernal species, as soon as the trees spread their leaves each year, the amount of light reaching the woodland floor decreases and the plants die back and hibernate underground only to blossom again in the spring when the sunlight returns.
The arable elds on this walk are a rotation of wheat, barley and oilseed rape. It is interesting to compare the modern farming methods and the large fields with straight boundaries at the top of the vale, with the smaller, irregular fields and boundaries of the older farming systems at the bottom.