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A magical woodland wander full of surprises

PUBLISHED: 16:03 10 June 2018 | UPDATED: 16:03 10 June 2018

Rape fields at Norton. Picture: CHRIS BARKER

Rape fields at Norton. Picture: CHRIS BARKER

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A wander through wildflowers and woodland around Norton. Walked by Chris Barker

A walk through the Norton area.A walk through the Norton area.

How to get there: Leave the A14 north at Woolpit on the A1088, at Norton turn right by The Dog Inn. Starting point roughly three quarters of a mile ahead. Start: Airfield Road, Norton, at the junction with Prospect Road. Distance: 4.5 miles. Map and grid reference: Explorer Map 211, gr.ref. 967658.

Refreshments: The Norton Dog.

Horses in a field seen on the walk around Norton. Picture: CHRIS BARKERHorses in a field seen on the walk around Norton. Picture: CHRIS BARKER

Walked by Chris Barker

A stone defence building. Picture: CHRIS BARKERA stone defence building. Picture: CHRIS BARKER

This walk offers spring time bird song, wildflowers and intermittent woodland and takes in Norton Hall and church. Along the way you will come across a concrete “pill box”, the name given to Second World War box-like defences with narrow windows through which to take aim should a German invasion be attempted.

With your back to Prospect Road turn left and you will soon come to a footpath sign to your left. Turn left on a path and at a tarmac drive, turn left. When you come to a farmyard carry on in the same direction, having farm buildings both sides. When you come to an area of concrete area carry on, aiming for the right hand side of the large barn in front of you.

A path through the woods at Norton. Picture: CHRIS BARKERA path through the woods at Norton. Picture: CHRIS BARKER

At the barn carry on along a concrete drive which will swing right. Stick with it soon having a footpath sign to your left now on a track. Just after a lone barn on your right turn right by a footpath sign, now walking on a track. Turn right just before a wood on your right and carry straight on, keeping the wood to your left.

After about 100 yards turn left across a footbridge into the wood then continue on a footpath soon coming to a footpath sign on your right. Carry on in the same direction walking on a track through the wood. At a cross road of tracks turn right unsigned walking on a path and at a V in the paths go left and go through a gate.

A thatched cottage on the walk. Picture: CHRIS BARKERA thatched cottage on the walk. Picture: CHRIS BARKER

When you emerge from the trees turn left walking on a track having a hedge to your left and when you come to a barn carry straight on soon having another barn to your right.

At this point turn right keeping the barn to your right, then turn left having a footpath sign in front of you walking on a hard surface drive soon coming to a farmhouse to your left.

When the road swings left and just before a footpath sign to your right turn right walking across a field. Once across the field carry straight on into a wood by a footpath sign. You will then cross a sleeper bridge and emerge from the trees and turn right by a footpath sign, walking on a path with a hedge to your left.

You will then come to a sleeper bridge, cross it and carry straight on across a field on a faint path, aiming for the left hand side of a hedge the other side of the field.

Carry on in the same direction, walking to the edge of a field to your left and a pond to your right soon having sporadic trees to your left. You will eventually come out onto a road, turn left and, when you come to School Close on your right, if you intend to visit The Dog Inn carry straight on for about 200 yards then return to this point, to continue the walk turn right.

When you are faced by some school gates turn right and quickly left by a footpath sign, then soon crossing a bridge to your right. Once across turn left having a tall hedge to your left.

When coming to the end of the hedge carry on in the same direction across a field following white post markers. Once across the field carry on in the same direction picking up a footpath with a ditch to your left.

When you come to a T-junction of paths by a footpath sign turn right having trees to your left. By a footpath sign turn left across a footbridge, once across turn right and when you come to a church car park carry on in the same direction. This will bring you out onto a road. Turn right and when you come to a footpath sign to your left turn left, walking on a path, then cross the field in front of you slightly diagonally right following white marker posts.

At a footpath sign the other side of the field carry on in the same direction keeping a hedge to your right. When you come to the field boundary carry on in the same direction through some trees. You will then come out onto a gravel area, cross it and carry on in the same direction up a gravel drive. This will bring you out onto a road, turn left and back to your starting point. (Route walked mid May).

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