History in the Landscape
On your route, you will discover the history behind our beautiful Cotswold landscape, shaped by generations of farmers over thousands of years. There are various historic features, including:
- a Bronze Age burial mound
- old quarry workings for Cotswold roofing slates
- miles of dry-stone walls
- and a Cotswold dewpond.
You will see lovely views across the rolling Cotswold Hills, but perhaps the most spectacular is the view that greets you at the halfway point, across Gorse Valley towards the village of Kineton.
For centuries, the landscape has been shaped by grazing animals, particularly sheep. In the Middle Ages, the Cotswolds were famous throughout Europe as the source of the finest quality wool. At the time, 50% of England’s economy was based on wool and huge flocks of Cotswold sheep roamed the land. You can still see these native sheep grazing here at the Farm Park today.
In 1996 English Nature made Barton Bushes into a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) because of its wildflower-rich limestone grassland and scrub, its thriving population of the nationally rare plant Cotswold Pennycress, and its population of the nationally scarce Duke of Burgundy butterfly.
Current practices at the farm aim to improve conditions for wildlife across the whole 650-hectare mixed holding using a mixture of environmentally friendly farming systems. Along the Wildlife Walk you will see how these practices are benefitting wildlife and biodiversity.
Arrows and information boards mark the route of our Wildlife Walk and a printed map is available from the Farm Park shop. The leaflet with route map is also available for you to download below. For the less energetic there is a shorter walk of around 1 mile. Please note, the route does take you through farmed land where animals may be grazing.