Thursday 25 February 2016. By way of a change from walking, Josephine invited me to join the Fenland Archeology group members on a visit to the ongoing dig at Must Farm near Whittlesey. A couple of dozen of us met at the layby near the dig, just off the A605, from where we were escorted onto the site by our guide from the Cambridge Archeological Unit. I’m sorry to say that I don’t remember her name which is a shame as she is a most knowledgeable and enthusiastic young lady. The dig isn’t open to the general members of the public so I felt privileged that Josephine had asked me to come along.
The dig is receiving a great deal of publicity and has been dubbed as “England’s Pompeii” The finds in the two roundhouses are incredible given that they are about 3,000 years old. The ceramics, textiles and metal objects have been preserved by being buried in the Fenland peat. As my knowledge of archelogy is extremely limited I won’t try to expand on the information which can be found on the links to the relevant websites.
It was a cold but enjoyable day and I’ll now follow progress until the dig is completed later this year.
Fenland Ramblers members will be aware that for the last 5 or 6 years we have held our AGM at Ferry Meadows near Peterborough. This has been an ideal venue as it has a variety of local walks, public toilets, room hire at affordable cost and, perhaps most important, free car parking. This is about to change on 7 March with the introduction of all day, every day car parking charges. These will start at a minimum of £1.50 for the first hour, rising by 50p for every subsequent half-hour up to a maximum of £5 for stays in excess of 4 hours.
I use Ferry Meadows quite frequently and, being a true Yorkshireman, I don’t really want to pay up to £5 every time that I want to go for a walk. Thankfully, there is a “no cost” option by using the nearby “free” Thorpe Wood Golf Centre car park (PE3 6SE) which is open to all. As you can see from the following map, it is just one mile between the Thorpe Wood and Ferry Meadows car parks and most of this can be incorporated into walks around the park.
Ferry Meadows – alternative free car park
We have yet to make a decision of where to hold the 2016 Group AGM but, given that there are both pay and free car parking options, we are more than likely to stick with using Ferry Meadows. Confirmation will be provided later in the year.
Sunday 7 February 2016. This 7.75 mile walk from Castor was advertised as “may be muddy” and we weren’t disappointed. Only 6 of us turned out on a windy and chilly morning to experience the worst that Castor Hanglands could throw at us in the depths of what had been a very wet winter. We walked up past St Kyneburgha’s church and out of the village on muddy bridleways which had been churned up by horses and 4×4’s. The crossing of the A47 dual carriageway proved uneventful and we stopped after about 45 minutes for coffee beside a small woodland plantation.
A walk alongside Brakes Wood and Bushy Wood brought us to the road leading to the northern end of Castor Hanglands. This is where the word “mud” took on a whole new meaning. It was largely unavoidable but thankfully not too deep. We found a dry area on Ailsworth Heath for lunch before tackling the rest of the Hanglands mud.
The rest of the walk was relatively easy as we re-crossed the A47, this time on a fly-over, before making our way back through Ailsworth and Castor back to the cars.