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CANTAB09 October 2001

CANTAB09 October 2001 published on

** Please note that this is an archive of the CANTAB publication and contains out-of-date information **


Whilst some restrictions remain in a few parts of Wales and the North of England,, fortunately most traces of Foot & Mouth notices have gone elsewhere in the country. Certainly, the whole of public paths in East Anglia should now be open. If you encounter residual or misleading notices, we have been told by County Council staff that they may be ignored, and also to report such notices.

There have been some recent changes in the Countryside Services Team at Cambridgeshire County Council.  Kate Day, Head of Section is presently on maternity leave, having been delivered of an 8 lb boy in late September. In her place for the duration is David Arkell, on loan from the Transportation Section.  Other new staff members are Amy Rushton and Charlotte Emmens (both definitive map officers).  The head of the Definitive Map Section remains Alysoun Hodges.  If you find yourselves reporting problems to CCC, write to the Head of Section of the Countryside Services Team, (Shire Hall, Cambridge, CB3 0AP, Box ET1009) and you may receive a reply from one of the above, or from Karen Champion, John Cooper or David Bethell (the last two deal with the “P3” parish path partnership parishes)…

Any More Bookings for Cumbria?  8 – 14 May 2002
Regular subscribers will have seen the details in the July issue of Cantab Rambler. We shall be going to Kilnhill Barn, Bassenthwaite, once again for the week of 8 – 14 May 2002.  Those who booked last year and found the holiday had to be cancelled due to Foot & Mouth restrictions, have been able to carry their bookings (and deposits) over, thanks to the generosity of Ken & Heather Armstrong.

There are 9 bookings so far, so a few places remain. It would be nice to fill this farm guest house. Rates at 2000 were ca. £32 per night bb/em, for high quality accommodation in this excellent centre for the Northern Lakes..

Interested?  Then ring Janet & Roger for any more details, then please make your own booking: Ken & Heather Armstrong, Kiln Hill Barn, Bassenthwaite, Keswick, Cumbria, CA12 4RG. Tel. 017687 76454….  Please let me know you have done so!

As on previous holidays, we aim for 9 – 12 miles a day, with a mountain climb weather permitting. A metal walking pole (or two?) is highly recommended. Waterproof overtrousers are essential.

We use OS Outdoor Leisure Series NE & NW Cumbria (yellow covers).  You might also like to have OS Landranger Sheet 98, West Cumbria., showing the guest house Grid Ref. 214 326 at the N end of Bassenthwaite Lake.

The Fen Rivers Way
Due to the outbreak of Foot & Mouth, the Fen Rivers Way walks were never finished in the Spring, but are due to be completed in November.

The Walks will be organised by the Fen Rivers Way Association, and will be held jointly with  Ramblers’ Association, Cambridge Group. The Arrangements are as follows, with leaders Duncan, Roger, Janet & Bill.

Saturday 3 November 2001  FRW 5th SECTION
Meet Cambridge Station for 9.32 train to Downham Market, or meet Downham Mkt Sta 10.03 am. Return from Watlington Station.  Tel 01223 356889  8 miles  Check train times.
Afterwards, come to the FRWA AGM at 2.30, at The Cock, Wiggenhall St Mary Magdalen.

Saturday 10 November 2001 FRW 6th SECTION
Meet Cambridge Station for 9.32 train to Watlington, or meet Watlington Sta 10.09am Return from Kings Lynn Station. 15.56 etc
Afterwards, there will be an official opening of the route at Green Quay, to which all are welcome.  There will a tea for those who booked for the event last February. Tel 01223 356889  9 miles (14km) inc. historic centre. Check train times

The New Woods of the Cam Valley
Take an Autumn walk in the Cam valley, and visit some of the new woods which have come into being during the last 10 years or so.

Start at Steeple Morden, in the large car-park behind the recreation ground, and leave by the rear kissing-gate, to enter a wildflower meadow, which slopes down to a little stream.  White Ponds Wood (TL 283 429) consists of a mix of species (willow etc) suitable for its low-lying location.  The trees are already well-grown, and a credit to The Woodland Trust, who allow unrestricted access to their sites. There is adjacent access to the good network of local paths. The Woodland Trust have also recently planted and opened Tween Towns Wood, on a strip of low-lying land between Guilden Morden and Steeple Morden, with access via a new grassy track from the road at TL 289 440.  There is also de facto access from a footpath from the Guilden Morden side, via a short strip of land beside the ditch, but there seems to be some dispute about this.  Don’t look yet for Autumn leaves here, unless from the tall weeds of ox-tongue and willow herb, as the trees are as yet only knee-high!

Now progress along Ashwell Street to the parish of Litlington.  Beside the byway, at TL 309 416 is Whitethorn Wood, on a site which used to be allotment gardens. This small site (a good place for a break, but one seat only) was planted some years ago, but the trees grow slowly, on the dry chalky soil.

Continue further along Ashwell Street, towards Bassingbourn, but halt beside a kissing gate at the side of the byway.  A permissive path leads across an arable field to a dip in the chalk downland. Here, Cambridgeshire County Council has planted Clear Farm Wood, TL 330 427 with the trees still small, and well-fenced against the depredations of rabbits.  Stiles lead in and out of the fences, and the path leads on to the wooded Springs behind Bassingbourn Village College. Continue into the village, to visit Keith Wood, TL 337 428, and Ford Wood, TL334 435.  Both of these attractive woods are becoming quite well established, and blend well with the dog-walking network of paths close to the village.  And finally, off Spring Lane in Bassingbourn at TL 336 435 is a newly-planted strip of woodland, with a “welcome” and an invitation to walk this way. How nice.

Enjoy your walk!

The Woodland Trust – Woods on your Doorstep
We are fans of The Woodland Trust, who acquire valuable tracts of old, established woodland, and plant new woods, with especial emphasis on creating new woodlands near to towns and villages.  These woods are always open to the public – none of this “members only”

Continuing the theme of woods in the Cam Valley, here is a brief list of other woods in Cambridgeshire owned and cared for by The Trust.  You can visit them all! Could this be a project for the Autumn? One word of caution – many of these woodlands are young (Y), so don’t expect mature trees (M) here!

Castle Camps Wood, 5.2ha, Landranger 154, TL 627 432…(Y)

Clarks Corner, Babraham,  3.6ha, Landranger 154, TL 496 535

Priory Wood, Burwell, 9 ha, Landranger 154, TL 585 667…(Y)

Reach Wood, 4.6ha, Landranger 154, TL 565 659….(Y)

Toft Wood, 3.4ha, Landranger  154, TL 357 564….(Y)

John’s Wood, Coveney, 0.8ha, Landranger  143, TL 492 824….(Y)

Nine Acre Wood, Haddenham, 3.8ha, Landranger 154, TL 444 723…. (Y)

Townsend Wood, Fordham, 1ha, Landranger 154, TL 627 704….(M)

Archers Wood, Sawtry, 176 ha, Landranger 142, TL 174 810….(M)

Aversley Wood, Sawtry, 61 ha, Landranger 142, TL 158 815….(M)

St Mary’s & Muchwood, Ramsey, 2ha, Landranger 142, TL 293 869….(Y)

Gault Wood, March,  6.6ha, Landranger 143, TL 400 945….(Y)

Wandlebury (new) Wood, 495 535….(Y)

(Ford Wood, Keith Wood, White Ponds Wood, Whitethorn Wood & Tween Towns Wood are mentioned in the preceding article).

Remember, too, you can visit woods in the County owned by Cambridgeshire County Council, such as at Landbeach, and some Wildlife Trust woods, Fulbourn (although some, like Hardwick Wood, are of restricted access).

…..The Lark Valley…..
This is the title of a new book published by The Lark Valley Association, and available from West Stow Country Park, West Stow, Bury St Edmunds, IP28 6HG at £9.95. (ISBN 0 9537360 0 8; 156pp, paperback.)

On a wet afternoon, we were browsing in the Visitor Centre Shop, and this publication caught our eye.  It is lavishly illustrated with line drawings and colour photographs, but is much more than an attractive picture book of the area.  Over half the pages are devoted to a description of the wildlife interest in the Lark valley – mammals, birds, butterflies, reptiles, fish, fungi, and especially the trees and special plants of the Brecks. Each village is featured. Walkers will be particularly interested in the chapters on Highways and Byways, railways, recreation, and the Lark Valley Path guide, and also in the history of the river valley, its mills, and the Lark Navigation itself.  Breckland was not always peaceful: chapters give details of past arson and unrest; military camps in two World wars; and the theft of the Icklingham bronze hoard as recently as the 1980s.

There are 20 contributors to this publication: they have all done an excellent job, as has the editor.  The reader glides smoothly from one chapter to the next, with continuing enjoyment and edification.  Highly recommended!

And on the Lark Valley Path..
Some of you may know that in January, even before Foot & Mouth closed the paths, the route of the Lark Valley Path through the grounds of Culford Hall was unavailable while the lake was being drained. A visit in early October confirmed that the lake is now refilled, and the Lackford end of the drive (and the footpath) restored.  However, the waymarked permissive section of the path by the lake now starts half-way along the drive, opposite the green iron bridge, avoiding a waterlogged section.  This is not as described in the Lark Valley Path leaflet.

Report of August in East Yorkshire
Eight members of RA Cambridge Group enjoyed a week in August staying at Bishop Burton College, near Beverley, and walking on the coast and in the Yorkshire Wolds.

The weather was mixed, but the rain only seemed to arrive when we had done our 10 miles and were back in the cars, or secure in the dining room, enjoying some excellent meals.  The party “jelled”, so that one member wrote afterwards that it was the best group holiday she had enjoyed.

We were relieved that all the local paths were open, following Foot & Mouth epidemic restrictions earlier in the year.  We were able to enjoy a very spectacular (and energetic) walk around Flamborough Head. We went to the Humber Visitor centre and had a chilly walk on the bridge. On other days we walked some of the more spectacular parts of the Wolds Way and the Minster Way.  We had a half-day visit to Burton Constable stately home, and most of the party enjoyed a day trip to Castle Howard.  The other two, meanwhile, fulfilled an ambition to visit Spurn Point, on the southernmost coastal tip of Yorkshire, and were not disappointed…

This was a holiday arranged via SAGA, who make block bookings of some colleges in the Summer, and seem happy for groups to make their own arrangements within these bookings.  Other advantages are a modest price, and no shortage of single rooms. Clients must have reached an age of discretion – i.e.50!

Footnote – for anyone planning walking in the Dolgellau or Harlech areas, I have the addresses of two highly recommended guest houses.

Summary of Watery Walks
We were asked to provide a list of walks in East Anglia with a riverside theme:

  • The Hereward Way, 180 miles. Oakham to Knettishall
  • The Nene Way, 110 miles.  Badby, Northants. to Sutton Bridge
  • The Iceni Way, 80 miles.  Knettishall to Snettisham
  • The Angles Way, 80 miles.  Yarmouth to Knettishall
  • The Black Fen Trail, 60 miles.  March – Ely circuit
  • The Brown Fen Trail, 60 miles.  Boston & villages circuit
  • The Fen Rivers Way, 60 miles.  Cambridge to Kings Lynn
  • The Stour Valley Path, 60 miles. Newmarket to Cattawade
  •  Nar Valley Way, 34 miles.  Kings Lynn to East Dereham
  • The Ouse Valley Way, 27 miles.  Eaton Socon to Earith
  • Upper Tas Valley Walk, 19 miles.  Hethersett to New Buckenham
  • The Gipping Valley Path, 17 miles.  Stowmarket to Ipswich
  • The Lark Valley Path, 13 miles.  Mildenhall to Bury St Edmunds
  • Little Ouse Path, 10 miles.  Thetford to Brandon
  • The Peter Scott Walk, 10 miles.  Sutton Bridge to West Lynn

Has anyone walked all of these?  Can you add to this list?

If so, we would like details of start & finish, distance, and guidebook publisher, date & price.  Thank you.

This is a privately produced magazine, and the views expressed are solely those of the editor, or the author of an individual item.

Short contributions are welcome.

Janet Moreton 01223 356889


Price 10 pence; no postal sales

© Janet Moreton, 10 October 2001

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