Well we were surprised and thrilled to see that this was the largest turnout so far for one of this series of Parish Walks. When we arrived at the Bird in Hand there were a few of us and we thought that was good, but more cars kept arriving until there were 29 of us!
On top of that it was a lovely day; probably the best day of this year so far with blue sky and it was warm. Sadly yesterday was wet so some parts of the route were changed to avoid the worst of the mud.
We set off towards Wreningham, passing the Church until we met the footpath on the right just on the sharp left hand bend. This follow the field to join Hethel road which we walked along for a short distance to turn right onto the field and run parallel to Penny Green. This kept us off the road again until we joined Wymondham road for a short distance to turn into Potash Lane which we followed until the footpath which passes Brunel House. Passing the house we followed the field edge with masses of free range hens in the fields enjoying the sun as much as us.
The stile at the end led us into one of our favourite fields- not sure why but it just has rough grass, tall hedges and a big pond. The path leads you to the far end to negotiate some mud and onto a farm lane past Church Farm. At Hethel Church the front ‘runners’ waited for the everyone to regroup and then set off via the permissive path opposite the Church which winds through the new wood. Lovely and quiet but with plenty of bird song. Rejoining the road we went straight over the crossroad until turning right at the play area the path went beside the houses and along a path bordered by hedges.
We were convinced that spring had really arrived when turning right at the end we spotted our first primroses of the year, and then joining Cranes rd the skylarks were trying to outsing each other.
Getting near the end now we crossed the B1113 and straight ahead for about 200 metres to turn right over the field with good views ahead-including the end of the walk. The field drops down to a ruined house surrounded by masses of snowdrops. Wonder who lived there? From here it was only a short distance over a footbridge, through some really deep mud (no one slipped over)and up the slope beside a field to the starting point.
Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and many of the group continued this with a stop in the Bird in Hand.
Thanks to everyone for coming. We will probably use this walk again as it seemed popular, but can make some changes to the route, especially if it is not muddy.
The next walk is 25th April and will take the form of a walk around Ashwellthorpe Lower Wood with Barry Watkin the warden who will give us a guided tour and explain the wildlife and history of the wood. Meet at Ashwellthorpe Village Hall at 10am.
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