Sunday 9 December 2018. Many members must be busy with Christmas preparations so just 6 of us (Josephine, Frances, Michael, David M & me) turned up for this walk led by Linda S. Oddly, the Peterborough Group had organised a walk, on a similar route, starting from the same place and at the same time as us. They seem to be similarly struggling for numbers as there were just 8 of them on their walk led by Ming.
We set off in opposite directions but our paths would cross later in the day. We walked past the riding school at Wittering Grange to cross the A47 and between the ever-expanding Mike George quarrying operations. The first picture shows a rather large hole that wasn’t there the last time that I walked this route. Linda asked if we would mind if she added a little distance to the advertised 7.5 mile walk. In the end this turned out to be 8 miles and the extra bit allowed us to further explore the woodland in Bedford Purlieus. We stopped for coffee in here.
We crossed the King’s Cliffe road to walk to the edge of Old Sulehay Forest. Further route diversions and exploration of a scenic ex-quarrying area preceded our walk around the perimeter of Old Sulehay. We were on the homeward leg by now but stopped for lunch just before crossing the A47 and passing through the hamlet of Thornhaugh. Walking around the edge of Abbot’s and Lound woods reminded me that this is a great place to see bluebells but not at the start of winter! For the last half mile or so we retraced our steps back into Wittering village.
Wittering – walk route
Sunday 25 November 2018. 13 members of the Fenland Ramblers turned out for today’s 6.5 mile walk with Josephine in the lead. We set off on familiar paths stopping for coffee when we hit the Peddars Way. We then followed this ancient track south as far as Rhubarb Cottage where we crossed the B1145 to break off along a track beside Massingham Heath.
A short section of minor road walking from Mink Patches took us to the edge of a small wooded copse where we stopped for lunch. This was something of a sun-trap with shelter from a chilly breeze. From here it was less than 2 miles back to Great Massingham. It was pleasing that other than Josephine and me, none of the group had walked this route before. Great Massingham appeared to very busy, I assume with customers of the Dabbling Duck. They were serving breakfasts as we started our walk and lunch by the time we got back.
Great Massingham – walk route
Sunday 18 November 2018. What a great weekend it has been weatherwise with perfect autumnal conditions for a walk around Ferry Meadows and Milton Park. The Fenland Ramblers had to change venues within Ferry Meadows for our AGM. The usual John Horrell room was being refurbished and we had to switch to the meeting room behind the Lakeside Cafe. Allied to this, a new car park ticketing machine had been introduced, more of which later.
13 of us set out to walk around Gunwade Lake and then uphill to enter Milton Park via the underpass beneath the A47. The drone of the traffic noise could still be heard but it didn’t spoil our countryside walk. Passing through the stables near Ferry House we came across a pony wearing an unusual horse blanket which made it look a little like a Zebra. We stopped for coffee in the sunshine before setting off again to the cross the golf course. It was here that we met Derek P. who hadn’t read the walk entry on our programme and had assumed that we would be starting from the main car park in Ferry Meadows. When he realised that we weren’t there, he set off in the opposite direction to our walk, meeting up with us near our half-way point.
We re-entered Ferry Meadows via the road leading into Castor and then walked along the River Nene for a short while before heading back to the Lakeside car park. The AGM went smoothly and was completed in about 15 minutes. The Group’s committee members, officers and walks leaders were thanked for their contributions without which the group would cease to exist. Membership is still on the decline having fallen from 71 to 61 over the last 12 months.
The day ended in chaotic fashion when trying to use the newly installed ticketing machines. Ferry Meadows had sent us instructions and a QR code which could be scanned by the machine to record payment of the parking fee. Unfortunately, the scanner didn’t work for some of us and we had to use the intercom button to speak with someone to make them aware of our problems and to allow us to exit the car parking area. I followed Sue and Cavin to the exit barrier at the main car parking area. There were two barriers. Sue opted for the left hand one and, anticipating problems, I went for the right hand one. The camera recognised my car registration number and the barrier lifted to let me out. It seemed as if Sue wasn’t so lucky and she was stuck at the barrier that wasn’t lifting for her. I suspect that she had to get out and use the intercom again to secure her exit. Thank heavens we won’t have to repeat this exercise until the AGM next year.
AGM – walk route
Sunday 4 November 2018. There was a good turnout of 12 Fenland Ramblers members for today’s 6.3 mile walk led by Linda W. Although we’d started walks from the Lynford Stag before, there are a large number of routes which can be followed from here and this walk took us over new ground. We headed out in the direction of Lynford Hall, stopping for coffee in Lynford Arboretum which is cared for by The Friends of Thetford Forest. The colours of the leaves were lovely to see and would have been enhanced even more by a little sunshine.
We then moved on to do a loop beside the gravel pit lakes, returning to the Arboretum for our lunch stop. From here it was just a couple of miles back to the cars. Although this was a relatively short walk, it was most enjoyable and no doubt one that we’ll do again in the future.
Lynford – walk route
Sunday 28 October 2018. Today’s walk started from the Northamptonshire village of Barrowden. Every time that we visit here I’m asked about the two prominent chimneys that can be seen a short distance away to the south. Whilst I’d read about them, I couldn’t recall their history in any detail and an “on-site” Google search on my phone failed to provide any information. I’ve since had time to do some more internet searching which has provided a more detailed insight into their history which can be found here. I’ll be asking questions of Fenland Ramblers members the next time we meet to see if anyone has read and digested this.
Sunday 28 October 2018. Just 6 of us today: Amanda, Frances, Linda S, David M, Michael and me. The weather was kind to us on this 6.4 mile walk with blue sky but a chilly northeasterly wind. Leaving Barrowden we crossed the River Welland to make our way up to Wakerley church where we had an early stop for coffee sat in the sunshine. A section of road walking then took us further uphill and into Wakerley Great Wood. It was lovely in here with shelter from the wind and our meandering route soon took us to the southern side, exiting near Laxton Hall.
We found some shelter from the wind in the lee of a hedge for lunch just before turning north and uphill again to re-enter the woods. Some of the tracks in here are dedicated for the exclusive use of mountain bikers. Needless to say we ignored this but soon encountered a biker coming in the opposite direction who made us aware of our transgression.
A little more road walking took us back through Wakerley to re-cross the Welland followed by a short section of field walking to take us back to the cars.
Barrowden – walk route