Chris Barker on a friendly foray to Fenland
THIS is a typical fenland walk on banks and droves around Lakenheath Poor’s Fen and Turf Fen, although some of these paths can get overgrown and difficult in summer months writes Chris Barker.
Start the walk with your back to the church and turn right, walking on the left-hand side of the road on a pavement, soon having the Co-operative store to your left, until you come to a road going off to the left and signposted Sedge Fen Baptist Church. Turn left here, walking on a pavement to your left. You will soon then come to a bridge over a canal. Once across that, turn left by a sign saying ‘Leading to Public Paths’, now walking on a semi-hard surface. You will soon come to a T-junction of tracks. Turn right, walking on a track. The track will then quickly swing to the left – don’t go with it but turn right and immediately go up a short but steep bank. Once up, turn left – walking on a green path. The path will swing to the right again, down a short and steep bank. It almost immediately swings left by a footpath sign to your right. Carry straight on, walking on a path on top of the bank, with fields both sides.
After a while the path will go down another short slope. Once down, carry on in the same direction, now on a wide green path with trees to your right. You will soon come to a footpath sign in front of you which tells you to go straight on, but, as you will see, because of the overgrowth, it is quite impossible, so turn right here for about 20 yards, when you will come to a road, and turn left. The road will then swing to the right and straighten up for some distance.
Follow the road as it swings to the left. When it goes sharply right, turn left by a footpath sign, walking on a green track with open fields both sides.
You will soon come to a footpath sign pointing you up a bank. I did try this but it was impassable, so walk to the right of this bank on the edge of a field. When you come to the end of the bank on your left, carry straight on across the field by a footpath sign. At the time of walking there was a defined path across the field. Once across the field, continue in the same direction, keeping trees to your right and walking on a green path.
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When you come to the field boundary, carry on for a few paces, having the end of a hedge to your left. Then immediately turn left, keeping that same hedge to your left. You will soon come to a gap in the hedge in front of you. Go straight through this by a footpath sign, walking on a wide green track with a ditch to your right. You will come to a staggered crossroad of tracks: carry on in the same direction and when the track you are on swings to the left, carry straight on, on a green path by a restricted byway sign with barbed wire fences both sides. When the fences cease, carry on in the same direction, walking on a semi-hard area with a rubble heap to your left.
Keep a straight line across this area. Once across, carry straight on in the same direction, on a semi-hard track which swings to your right. When the track you are on swings to the left, you just carry on, on a narrow track with a ditch to your right. You will then come to a crossroads of paths by a footpath sign. Carry on in the same direction on a green path, now having a field to your left. You will also have trees to your right. When the trees on your right cease, fork right at this point and go through some gate posts still on a path that will swing to the left.
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Just stick with it now having a fence to your right. You will then quickly come to a footbridge taking you over a canal, then immediately through the gate. Once through, just carry on in the same direction, soon having a conifer hedge to your left, then fences both sides. This will quickly take you out onto a road. Turn left here, walking on a pavement and soon returning to the church where you started.