Little Horkesley

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What am I looking at?

This view captures an area of arable farmland looking down the River Stour Valley towards the village of Wissington.

Wissington, pronounced locally as “Wiston” (its original name until the early 1900s) is on the other side of the River Stour, which forms the county boundary between Suffolk and Essex.


What lives here?

Protected bird species such as skylark and cuckoos have been sighted in the area, and birds of prey such as marsh harriers and kestrels hunt for rodents above the fields.

Grasshoppers are also common and this location’s relative proximity to the River Stour means that water-loving insects such as emperor dragonflies have also been spotted.


Looking back…

Early documentation shows that the original name of Wissington was Wiston, which remains the pronunciation of the village by local people today.

The parish was inhabited entirely by agricultural workers until the late 19th century, when the County Council decided to merge Wiston with the neighbouring urban parish of Nayland, and in doing so changing the name.

To this day the area is still characterised by agricultural landscape features. However, as an AONB, work to conserve and enhance nature is undertaken even on working farms, much of which is supported by the Dedham Vale National Landscape’s Farming in Protected Landscapes team.

Looking back even further, Wissington Church contains medieval wall paintings of St Francis of Assisi, which is thought to be the earliest picture of him in English art.


Walks and more

This public footpath is part of the Stour Valley Path, a 60 mile route that runs between Newmarket in the far west of the county near the source of the River Stour, to Cattawade in the far south-east where the river joins the estuary.

Dedham Vale National Landscape has produced a walking guide for this stretch of the Stour Valley Path between Wormingford and Stoke-by-Nayland, which contains information about walking routes and points of interest along the way.