The Beeches Footpath

A sheltered pathway mostly following the parish biundary between Steeple Aston and Mddle Aston. Bordered by a narrow strip of woodland to the south; short grass, and pasture used for sheep grazing, to the north. This pasture is a good area for corvids (jackdaws, magpies, jays, crows, rooks, and ravens) as well as, in winter, mixed flocks of thrushes (song thrush, mistle thrush, redwing and fieldfare). Buzzards and red kites are frequently seen flying overhead.

Rookery at Hatch End


  • Beech (as expected from the name of the path!)
  • Horse Chestnut
  • Sweet Chestnut
  • Lime
  • Oak

Understorey of shrub-size holly, hazel

This habitat is good for birds, especially jays and, in the winter, redwings and fieldfares. Great spotted woodpeckers nest here, and the calls of tawny owls are often heard, especially at dawn.

On the far side of the woodland strip are a grassed area, the site of a previous sand quarry, and a couple of fields used for grazing horses. One of these, on old maps, was named as Coneygar (and the name has been retained for the small housing development at its southern end). This name suggests a rabbit warren; not surprising as the nearby sand quarry suggests the ground here would be sandy and easy for burrowing. Rabbits are still here, but not in such abundance as they may have been in earlier times. Other small mammals would also find this easy for tunnelling. and may be a food source for the foxes that are often seen here. Roe deer are also present in this region.