Walnut Tree Field, in Sturminster Marshall, is a field, with a Walnut Tree in it. At least that is how it may appear at first glance.
This site is actually part of an old field system, formerly consisting of two fields, and the outline of the field system can still be seen in places. Many years ago a flood bank was constructed, to help prevent flooding in the village from the River Stour, which runs alongside Walnut Tree Field.
During the construction of the trench and flood bank, many interesting archaeological finds were made, dating back to early Neolithic times. The site appears to have been of some importance throughout the course of history, with finds including Neolithic flint tools, late Saxon period pottery fragments, a box of animal bones and medieval glazed ceramic roof tiles - some of which are now housed in the Dorset County Museum.
The Walnut Tree is estimated to be almost 300 years old, and has been pollarded in order to encourage new growth and prolong the life of the tree. Paths around the fields are cut two or three times a year.
|Nearest Town||Sturminster Marshall|
|Look out for||Lovely views of the River Stour, where you might be lucky enough to spot a Kingfisher.|
|Nearest bus stop||Church Street, Wilts and Dorset bus route|
|Nearest train station||Hamworthy (7 miles)|
|Grid reference||ST 949 003|
|Parking||No parking at site.|
|Accessibility||Grass surface can get wet underfoot outside of the summer season.|
|Facilities||Benches, dog bins at main entrances|
|Owner||Dorset Council (Previously East Dorset District Council)|
|Managed by||Dorset Council Countryside Team|
|How to get there:||
From Wimborne, follow the B3082 (Blandford Road) towards Badbury Rings. Just before Badbury Rings, turn left to Sturminster Marshall. Follow the road over the river, past the Red Lion pub, and bear right onto Back Lane. Walnut Tree field is on your right.
From A31, turn right onto the A350 at the roundabout heading towards Spetisbury. Take the first right towards Sturminster Marshall, following Station Road. Cross straight over the roundabout onto High Street, head through the village, turn right onto Church Street, then left onto Back Lane.