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Wharf Stream Way
This painted map of the Wharf Stream Way, a new permissive footpath through the fields and paths to the east of the village of Eynsham, was commissioned by West Oxfordshire District Council for an interpretation panel erected at the start of the walk. The panel gives walkers an idea of the nature they can spot as they walk, and the history of the features to be encountered on the route.
Original painted map – watercolour on paper – size A1 – comes to you unframed. Price includes P&P.
A hand painted map, in watercolour, of the county of Oxfordshire, showing geography, history and nature. Buy signed unframed prints (size A2) OR the original watercolour painting (size A1). Prices include P&P to UK.
The Wharf Stream Way is a new permissive footpath through the fields and paths to the east of the village of Eynsham, Oxfordshire, where I live. This painted map of the route, commissioned by West Oxfordshire District Council, is on an interpretation panel at the start of the walk. The panel gives walkers an idea of what they can spot as they walk, and the history of the various tracks and features to be encountered on the route.
Wharf stream history
The Wharf stream itself is a naturally occurring watercourse which was adapted as a flash lock sometime in the 14th century. The stream was part of an important trade route, linking Eynsham’s busy wharf with the river Thames 600 metres away, and out into the wider world for 600 years, carrying goods into and out on small craft. Before reliable roads and railways, goods such as hay, grain, timber and stone were transported on waterways – there was no other way.
The route of the Wharf Stream Way crosses the route of the now (sadly) dismantled railway which came to Eynsham in 1862 and closed to passengers in 1962. The line ran from Oxford to Fairford via Witney. Would that someday a line (railway, tram – I don’t care) would re-open and alleviate some of the congestion on the A40! Perhaps someday it will…
My painted map features Mead Lane – which many locals call Mud Lane for obvious reasons – is is now a bridleway but i believed to have once formed part of an ancient route bringing salt mined in 70 miles away in Droitwich to Eynsham wharf for wider distribution.
What I love best about the route is that although it is less than a mile long, it passes through rich wildlife habitats. Watermeadows, mature hedgerows, reedbeds, ditches and nearby woodlands are home to a precious range of wildlife. All the species I have illustrated I have seen around Eynsham: roe deer, hares, badgers, as well as kingfishers, kites, songbirds, waterfowl.
Other installations – including carved waymarkers, footpath improvements and rustic seating have been added to the Wharf Stream Way. Walk slowly and quietly: there are some many things to learn about and enjoy in our quite ordinary, yet very beautiful landscape.