Friday, 9 March 2018

Exploring Osmington Drove

On 16 July 1811 the Inclosure Act for Broadmayne was sworn before Thomas Frampton, Esquire and the Justices at Shaftesbury court. Mr Thomas Davis had been appointed Commissioner to deliberate over the unowned parcels of land in the parish of Broadmayne and divide them into parcels of land for ownership.

The Rector, The Reverend David Urquhart was awarded the largest section of land, which included the ancient public track of Osmington Drove.

As a result Osmington Drove was recognised in law giving a right of access to owners and occupiers as a common way for use as a path or for driving cattle. This was reaffirmed in 1968 after the County Council and Rural district council reviewed the usage of the Drove.

It is believed this route was part of an ancient way linking the South Dorset Ridgeway with the hinterland.

Today Osmington Drove is not the easiest path to find but is well worth a visit as it covers some lovely areas of the South Dorset Ridgeway. We suggest the route from Sutton Poyntz at the top of Plaisters Lane.  There is a fantastic view from the path of Chalbury Hill fort and you pass over the top of the White Horse. There is also some great downhill sections for runners and mountain bikers.

For recreational users

It is perfectly passable for runners or walkers, more tricky for mountain bikers but not impossible. Horse riders should be able to use it without too much difficulty.

Where is it

If you have not been able to locate Osmington Drove it is still a well signposted bridleway although it is in desperate need of maintenance due to deep rutted tracks in parts. It is marked clearly on Google maps and is parallel to Chalky road.

See map and photos for route.

Follow the finger post sign towards Broadmayne from the Ridgeway.
This part of the bridleway is very heavily eroded and muddy

Watch out for branches laying on the track if on bike.

At this junction go straight on not left

Turn left and through the wooden gate

You are met by a fantastic view and if on MTB this will make you smile a lot!

The path starts to widen as you approach Broadmayne

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