Norfolk health, heritage and biodiversity walks - Breckland Council

Norfolk health, heritage and biodiversity walks - Breckland Council

Norfolk health, heritage and biodiversity walks Walks in and around the Dereham area Castle Farm Elsi rt c ng Ro ad ut Sho Start Park Farm P E...

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Norfolk health, heritage and biodiversity walks Walks in and around the Dereham area

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Introduction page 2

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Walk 1 Ted Ellis Walk page 8 Walk 2 Potters Fen page 12 Walk 3 Neatherd Moor and Etling Green page 16 Walk 4 Rush Meadow page 20 Walk 5 North Elmham page 26 Walk 6 Swanton Morley (Carrick Estate) page 30 Walk 7 Gressenhall/Beetley page 36 Walk 8 Hoe via Hoe Rough page 42 Walk 9 Whinburgh page 46 Walk 10 Yaxham page 50 Walk 11 Shipdham page 54 Walks locations page 58 Useful contacts page 59 Project Information page 60

•Red Poll cattle, Gressenhall Norfolk Museums and Archaeology Service

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Introduction

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ontact with natural surroundings offers a restorative environment which enables you to relax, unwind and re-charge your batteries, helping to enhance your mood and reduce your stress levels. Regular exercise can help to prevent major conditions, such as coronary heart disease, type II diabetes, high blood pressure, strokes, obesity, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, bowel cancer and back pain. Moderate physical activity such as a regular walk in natural surroundings is a simple and enjoyable way of keeping fit. To gain maximum benefit, aim to walk at a pace where your heart beats a little faster, your breathing becomes a little heavier and you feel a little warmer.

The Mid Norfolk Railway The Mid Norfolk Railway runs through Dereham. It was first opened to passengers between Wymondham and Dereham in 1847 and was subsequently extended to Fakenham. The line was built at the height of “Railway Mania” when railways were being built across the whole country and by the end of the 19th century the Mid Norfolk Railway was at its peak. Much of the line is now disused and forms a fascinating and interesting feature of several of the walks.

These circular walks have been carefully designed to encourage you to explore the local countryside, discover urban green spaces and to enjoy the heritage of Norfolk, both natural and man made.

Dereham: the Heart of Norfolk Dereham is a market town at the heart of Norfolk which flourished in the 7th century when it is thought that St Withburga, youngest daughter of Anna, King of the East Angles, built a nunnery and church. Dereham is thought to have got its name from the deer that once roamed the area. It comes from the Old English for “enclosure for deer”. Dereham is historically linked to agriculture being located in the middle of one of Britain’s most important farming regions and this is highlighted on many of the walks as the routes take you across some of Norfolk’s beautiful farming landscapes.

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•Dereham Station, 1910 P. Standley collection Since 1995, The Mid Norfolk Railway Preservation Trust has restored Dereham Station and the section of the line between Wymondham and Dereham. Passenger trains run between these two stations with various special events taking place throughout the year. Visit the Mid Norfolk Railway’s website, www.mnr.org.uk or call 01362 851723 for current timetable information and to learn more about its history. Also find out how you can get involved in volunteering or becoming a member of the Mid Norfolk Railway. 3

Walk information

Yaxham Railway Station

Information about the walks includes details such as the start point, distances, path surfaces, gradients and facilities available. The following symbols will help you to decide if the walk is suitable:

The Mid Norfolk Railway runs trains between Dereham and Yaxham stations. Why not take a historical train journey to Yaxham before enjoying a walk in the countryside? Visit www.mnr.org.uk or call 01362 851723 for current timetable information.

Start point Parking Distance Details

The start of the walk with Ordnance Survey grid references and Postcode (where possible) Nearest parking; not always the same as the walk start point Distance of the walk Gentle gradient, 20% soft

Steps

Toilets nearby

Stile

Public house nearby

Suitable for buggies/ wheelchairs... Cattle (or other farm animals) could be grazing in some meadows

Café nearby The route could contain muddy/ uneven sections and stout shoes or boots are recommended

If you have not exercised for a while, it is better to start with the shorter routes before moving on to the more challenging walks.

Getting around Dereham is well served by public transport, so why not leave the car behind? Several bus services stop at the Market Place in Dereham town centre making it a good location to access some of the Town walks. Surrounding villages are also accessible by bus.

Walking from Schools Several of these walk routes pass primary or secondary schools providing ideal opportunities for teachers, parents and children to enjoy walking after school for example. The walks could also provide the basis for outdoor educational opportunities such as local school trips and projects as well as providing an additional and enjoyable form of physical activity. Please contact the travel plan team at Norfolk County Council, 01603 638081 for information about walking to and from school.

Tread lightly and safely Please respect the natural surroundings as you walk; stay on the designated footpaths and take any litter home. Some of the walks take you through nature reserves, County Wildlife Sites (CWS) and other areas designated for conserving or protecting vulnerable/rare species and habitats. Some paths are permissive which means that the landowner has made them available for you to use as long as an agreement is in place. Please take some time to read any advice about the area in which you are walking where this is provided. Please keep your dog on a lead or under tight control where cattle are grazing and between 1st March and 31st July during bird nesting season. Some routes pass through areas grazed by cattle, horses or sheep. Please keep dogs on a lead and shut gates behind you.

For bus details, contact Traveline on 0871 200 2233 or visit www.travelineeastanglia.co.uk 4

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The Wensum Valley The Wensum Valley is a strip of countryside approximately 30 miles long and 2 miles wide that follows the River Wensum from its source near West Rudham, Tattersett and South Raynham in West Norfolk down to central Norwich. The unspoilt landscape contains a mosaic of ancient semi-natural habitats supporting a good number of populations of both common and uncommon species of plant and animal. The river itself is a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and a Special Area of Conservation (SAC). Most of the valley floor lies in the Broads Environmentally Sensitive Area. Walks in areas such as North Elmham, Gressenhall and Beetley fall within the Wensum Valley catchment area and a large section of the walk at Swanton Morley follows the course of the river enabling you to experience the beauty and character of this environment. Some of the walks within the town also take you across landscapes whose characteristics are influenced by small tributaries of the River Wensum. The Wensum Valley Trust aims to conserve wildlife, landscape and heritage, improve countryside access and promote community action and involvement in the Wensum Valley. To find out more about the Wensum Valley Trust, visit the website www.wensumvalleytrust.org.uk or call 01362 861183

networks around core habitat sites. The Mid Norfolk Railway line is a classic example of a green corridor. The Town Council hopes to ensure that new building work is located in places where its impact on wildlife is limited and to identify places where new green space should be allocated in order to improve the network of open spaces. Many of these walks take you through some of the core habitat sites identified for Dereham such as Rushmeadow, Potters Fen and Scarning Meadows.

County Wildlife Sites • County Wildlife Sites (CWS) are areas rich in wildlife and represent the most important habitats outside of statutory sites such as Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). • Many of these species and habitats will be priorities under the UK Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) which sets out strategies for conserving our most vulnerable wildlife and have plans targeted by the Norfolk Biodiversity Partnership. Visit www.norfolkbiodiversity.org for more information. Some of the walks take you through or past County Wildlife Sites. Those with no public access can be appreciated from the road as you walk past.

Dereham: A network of biodiversity and green infrastructure Dereham has a long term vision for improving its green infrastructure. Areas such as parkland, woodland and wetland are important habitats for supporting a variety of species as well as providing human beings with spaces for recreational use such as walking. Green spaces are more valuable if they are linked so that wildlife and people can move between them. These links are often called green corridors and help build ecological 6

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Ted Ellis Walk Photograph: D Minto

Start point Parking Distance Details

Guildhall car park Grid reference TF987132 • Postcode NR19 1XE Any town centre car park Guildhall car park (2 hour limit) adjacent to start point 1 mile Flat, 50% soft

Walk instructions 1. Walk out of the car park entrance on to St Withburga Lane. Turn right and cross the road towards the school. 2. Turn left on to Washbridge. After a short distance, walk over the bridge and bear left on to Ted Ellis Walk.

Bishop Bonner’s Cottages 

Bishop Bonner’s cottage appears to have been constructed in the early 17th century although the earlier date of 1502 can be found in the plasterwork. Today the building is a museum celebrating the history of Dereham. Please visit the website for more information about the museum and its opening hours www.derehamhistory.com

The Guildhall

The Guildhall is a listed building with some of the earliest parts dating back to around 1500. Only one wall of this early structure survives and the rest was converted to a large mansion (probably in the 17th century) after the guild dissolved in 1548. The building has been significantly altered since this time and parts of it now date back to both the 18th and 19th centuries. The 18th century stable block has been converted to a conference centre with other parts of the building now housing various offices. A Cold War nuclear shelter also exists under the car park.

3. After approximately 250 yards turn left on to the soft track just before Ted Ellis Walk bends sharply to the right. This track takes you through the water meadow. 4. Keep following the path until you reach the playing field. You will see a bridge in front of you. Turn left on to the wide gravel path and follow all the way to the end. 5. Turn left on to Rollingpin Lane and follow until you reach St Withburga Lane. 6. Turn left and walk for a short distance before turning right in to the car park.

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A short, easy walk crossing Scarning Meadows, a county wildlife site rich in biodiversity. Ro ad

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Ted Ellis Walk Washbridge School

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Scarning Meadows is a County Wildlife Site with public access and consists of a mosaic of habitats on sandy clays and peat soils within a broad, shallow valley of a small tributary of the River Wensum. The site is composed Photograph: Norfolk primarily of dry marshy grassland and derelict fen, County Council with patches of mixed scrub. Fragments of tall fen and wet alder carr lie to the North. The meadows are managed by the Norwich Diocese through Natural England’s Environmental Stewardship scheme which aims to deliver significant environmental benefits across the site. There are also areas of permissive open access and newly created wood pasture for the public to enjoy. Please observe the local signs and map boards for more information. Cattle may be present on the site over the summer

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Ted Ellis Walk

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Recreational area Scarning Meadows Key

Ted Ellis Walk

Ted Ellis Walk is named after the well known writer and broadcaster Edward Augustine Ellis or Ted Ellis (1909-1986). A famous Norfolk naturalist, he devoted much of his life to natural history and was Keeper of Natural History at the Castle Museum in Norwich from 1928 to 1956. For forty years he lived with his family at Wheatfen Broad, Surlingham which is now a nature reserve. For more information about The Ted Ellis Trust and the Wheatfen nature reserve, visit the website www.wheatfen.org

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Walk 1 Parking P Church 0

½km ¼mile

This map is based upon Ordnance Survey material with the permission of Ordnance Survey on behalf of the Controller of Her Majesty’s Stationery Office © Crown copyright. Unauthorised reproduction infringes Crown copyright and may lead to prosecution or civil proceedings. Norfolk County Council. Licence No: 100019340. 2009.

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Potters Fen

Start point Parking Distance Details

Chapel Lane Grid reference TG988116 • Postcode NR19 1LD On-road parking on and around Chapel Lane N.B. Please do not use the surgery car park as this is reserved for patients only 1.4 miles Flat, 50% soft (There is a stile to climb if you would like to have a look at Scarning Fen)

Potters Fen Meadow

Potters Fen Meadow is a designated County Wildlife Site and Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) which includes drained improved grassland with scrub, young woodland and alder woodland. There is a large variety of species here.

Walk instructions 1. Start on Chapel Lane and walk towards Larner’s Road (the opposite direction to Shipdham Road). 2. Continue straight on to the path between the houses and exit to Lilac Close. Bear right to the path that passes the last house on the left. Walk over a bridge and follow through to the open grassy area. Turn left on to the path that follows the stream alongside Potters Fen. 3. At the end of this path, turn left on to the boardwalk between Potters Fen and Scarning Fen Nature Reserve. N.B. Part of the way along the boardwalk is a stile on your right. You can enter Scarning Fen here if you would like to have a look. Please keep to the public footpath. 4. Exit the footpath to Stone Road and turn left on the pavement. 5. Follow Stone Road for a little under half a mile and then turn left on to Orchid Avenue. 6. Turn right on to Lavender Grove and at the end, turn left on to Larner’s Road. 7. Turn right on to Chapel Lane and walk back to your start point. 12

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Potters Fen

A short, easy walk through Potters Fen Meadow, County Wildlife Site and Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) – a haven of biodiversity. S (Na carnin ture g Fe Res n erve )

Look out for... • The nationally rare small red damselfly

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Photograph: Norfolk County Council

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¼mile This map is based upon Ordnance Survey material with the permission of Ordnance Survey on behalf of the Controller of Her Majesty’s Stationery Office © Crown copyright. Unauthorised reproduction infringes Crown copyright and may lead to prosecution or civil proceedings. Norfolk County Council. Licence No: 100019340. 2009.

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Neatherd Moor and Etling Green

Start point Parking Distance Details

Car park at corner of Crown Road and Neatherd Road Grid reference TF996135 Free 2.9 miles Flat, 100% soft

Walk instructions 1. Start at the car park on the corner of Crown Road and Neatherd Road and head East on to Neatherd Moor past the duck pond which will be on your left. There will be houses on your right. 2. Continue straight on following the track across the grassy area with the trees on your right. 3. Follow the track as it bends through the trees and follow straight on. The track continues for a little over half a mile before arriving at Etling Green. 4. Follow the public right of way to the left past the houses. You will come to a sign on your left saying “Meadoway”. Follow the footpath to the right of this sign and at the end, turn left on to Back Lane. 5. Follow Back lane until you come to a fork and bear left. Keep walking along this track until you come back to Neatherd Moor. 6. Turn right taking the track around the outside of Neatherd Moor keeping the houses on your right before arriving back at the car park.

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Neatherd Moor and Etling Green

Neatherd Moor and Etling Green are two important areas of common land on the north-eastern fringes of Dereham. The areas were once much more extensive, playing an important part in the local economy as the land would have been used for grazing and sourcing different types of raw materials. Such areas were typical of mid to south Norfolk until the early 1800s and to a lesser extent, until the agricultural intensification of the 1950s and 60s. Both sites support a varied mosaic of wildlife habitats including open grassland (semi-improved grassland and species-rich marshy wet grassland), hedgerows and trees, woodland and scrub and ponds and ditches which in turn provide a home for a range of plants, birds, animals and insects. These include some rare protected species such as greatcrested newt, bats and plants which are locally important and are rarely found in the open farmed countryside.

Did you know?

● Neatherd Moor was formerly known as Gallow Tree Moor suggesting that this was the site of the town gallows before a new gallows was built in the post medieval Market Place on the site of the later Assembly Rooms. ● This area was one of prehistoric activity; Bronze Age hearths and flints have been found here. ● In 1945, during World War Two, Italian prisoners of war were kept at a camp at Etling Green. ● It is thought that there was a former medieval deer park north of Etling Green (mentioned in a survey of 1251 A.D.). The part of Back Lane that follows the course of the deer park’s southern boundary is a very old road, embanked and ditched. 17

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Neatherd Moor and Etling Green

Listen out for... • The willow warbler particularly between April and September. Their song is a high pitched melodic rippling sound that rises quickly before slowly dying away.

A quiet and relaxed walk on the edge of town linking Neatherd Moor and Etling Green, two of Dereham’s much-loved and valuable open green spaces.

Look out for... • Ducks • Barn owls • Green woodpeckers and song thrushes • Great crested newts • Common knapweed • Common bird’s-foottrefoil • Common spotted orchid

•Green woodpecker Photograph by John Flowerday

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•Common birds-foot trefoil Photograph by Martin Olsson

Walk 3 Parking P 0

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This map is based upon Ordnance Survey material with the permission of Ordnance Survey on behalf of the Controller of Her Majesty’s Stationery Office © Crown copyright. Unauthorised reproduction infringes Crown copyright and may lead to prosecution or civil proceedings. Norfolk County Council. Licence No: 100019340. 2009.

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Rush Meadow

Start point Parking Distance Details

Queen Mother’s Garden (adjacent to Guildhall car park) Grid reference TF987132 • Postcode NR19 1XE Any town centre car park Guildhall car park (2 hour limit) adjacent to start point 3.2 miles Moderate gradients, 50% soft

N.B. This is best as a summer walk. As the name suggests, Rush Meadow is a naturally wet area and remains wet and muddy for much of the year – wellies are advisable, especially after wet weather and during the winter.

6. The path opens out to a wide track on a gentle incline. Follow this straight on all the way to the road (Sandy Lane) and turn right. Sandy Lane becomes Colin McLean Road for a short distance before becoming Sandy Lane again. 7. Follow Sandy Lane back to Swaffham Road and cross to Old Becclesgate using the pedestrian crossing. Follow the lane back to the church and take the path to the right round the church past St Withburga’s Well. 8. Walk straight on along Church Street for a short distance and turn right on to the path between the buildings opposite the Phoenix Court Hotel back to the Queen Mother’s Garden.

Did you know?

● Rush Meadow is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

Walk instructions 1. Start at the Guildhall car park and walk through the Queen Mother’s Garden to the far right hand corner, taking the path between the buildings. Exit to Church Street and turn left. Bear right on the path past St Nicholas’ Church.

● The reed beds here are an example of a habitat listed in the Norfolk Biodiversity Action Plan. The action plan identifies species of conservation concern and aims to prevent the further decline of these species by conserving the habitats that support them. Visit www.norfolkbiodiversity.org for more information.

2. Bear right on to Old Becclesgate. Cross Swaffham Road using the pedestrian crossing. Turn left and continue to walk down Swaffham Road using the pavement on the right hand side of the road. 3. Turn right onto Rush Meadow Road and continue along this road for just under half a mile, passing some houses as you walk. 4. Take the next right turn you come to, a lane leading to the sewage/ water works. Take the footpath to the left of the sewage works and follow this straight on to Rush Meadow. Climb a stile and continue along the path for approximately 500 yards. 5. Bear right to the board walk following the path into the woodland. Keep following this path as it undulates through the trees. 20

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Phoenix Hotel Queen Mother’s Garden

This map is based upon Ordnance Survey material with the permission of Ordnance Survey on behalf of the Controller of Her Majesty’s Stationery Office © Crown copyright. Unauthorised reproduction infringes Crown copyright and may lead to prosecution or civil proceedings. Norfolk County Council. Licence No: 100019340. 2009.

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Rushmeadow

Church of St Nicholas 

This is a large, grand Norman church which was extended and added to in the 13th, 14th and 15th centuries. The church has a separate bell tower which dates back to the 16th century. During the Napoleonic Wars, the bell tower was used as a prison and a gravestone in the churchyard commemorates the death of a prisoner, Jean De Narde, who was shot when trying to escape.

St Withburga’s Well 

The Holy Well is said to be the burial site of St Withburga, youngest daughter of the King of the East Angles. It is thought that when St Withburga died, she was buried in the churchyard but her body was later moved by the Abbot of Ely to be reburied at Ely cathedral. Legend has it that when her body was removed, a spring of pure water with healing properties sprang up in her grave.

Rushmeadow Road County Wildlife Site

(No formal public access) The site (seen on your right as you turn on to Rushmeadow Road) is an area of mainly semi-improved dry through to wet grassland on the eastern edge of East Dereham in the shallow valley of a tributary of the River Wensum. A range of flora can be found across this site.

Dereham Sewerage Works Meadow County Wildlife Site

(No public access) The main area of this site (on your right as you turn off Rushmeadow Road) gently slopes down to a tributary of the River Wensum and is a combination of damp unimproved grassland with some small areas of trees and scrub and a small area of relict dry fen with common reed, willow scrub and wet woodland. 24

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North Elmham

Start point Parking Distance Details

Car parking area on Church Lane by St Mary’s Church – signposted N. Elmham Cathedral Grid reference TF987215 Free 1.5 miles Minor gradients, 60% soft

Remains of the Anglo-Saxon cathedral 

The ruins of a late 11th/early 12th century chapel built by Bishop Herbert de Losinga stand on the site of a pre-Conquest timber cathedral which was later converted into a fortified manor house by Bishop Despencer. It is surrounded by 14th century earthworks. See interpretation on site for further details.

Walk instructions 1. From the car parking area, turn right on to Holt Road which becomes High Street. High Street then becomes Pump Street. 2. Turn left, crossing the road at Miller’s Old Cottage, on to a wide public footpath. After a short distance, climb a stile on your right just after the Park House buildings. Follow the public footpath across the grass to the far left hand corner of the field and a climb a stile at the end. 3. Turn left on to Greatheath Road. After approximately 500 yards, turn left on to the public footpath. You will pass some houses on your right. 4. Follow the track as it bends to the left and then turn left on to the way marked path in to the woodland. Follow this path as it winds through the trees for approximately 550 yards until it exits to the wider path which takes you back to Pump Street past Park House. 5. Turn right on to Pump Street and follow the road as it becomes High Street and then Holt Road back to the car parking area on the left. Walk to County School Station… From the start point, walk east around the ruins on the site of the North Elmham Cathedral and go through a gate following the paths though the fields down to the railway line. Turn left on to the path that runs along the right hand side of the track to County School Station.

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Did you know?

● The Mid Norfolk Railway line acts as a green corridor rich in a diverse range of wildlife. Green corridors help to create ecological networks whereby habitats are linked together. This is important in preventing the isolation of species, reducing vulnerability to threats from surrounding land uses and creating an environment in which habitats can grow and develop more easily, especially in a period of climate change. 27

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Key Walk 5 Parking P Church 0

A beautiful short walk within the Wensum Valley.

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County School Station was built in 1886 at the junction of the lines to Wells and Wroxham. It also served the now-demolished Norfolk County School. The station has been restored and is set in the beautiful surroundings of the Wensum Valley. Visit the Mid Norfolk Railway website, www.mnr.org.uk, for information about opening times etc.

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Holt Road

 The Mid Norfolk Railway: County School Station

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• Barn owls • Knapweed – a common grassland perennial • 19th century octagonal game larder • Circular dovecote



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High Street P

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River Wensum

Remains of AngloSaxon Cathedral and Bishop’s Palace

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North Elmham

School

This map is based upon Ordnance Survey material with the permission of Ordnance Survey on behalf of the Controller of Her Majesty’s Stationery Office © Crown copyright. Unauthorised reproduction infringes Crown copyright and may lead to prosecution or civil proceedings. Norfolk County Council. Licence No: 100019340. 2009.

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Swanton Morley (Carrick Estate)

Start point Parking Distance Details

Park Farm (Hunter’s Hall) Grid reference TG028166 • Postcode NR20 4JU Free – large gravelled parking area at Hunter’s Hall 3.25 miles Minor gradients, 80% soft

5. You will come to a point where Penny Spot Beck meets the River Wensum. There is a pumping station here. Turn right around the sluice gate and go though a gate to your left. Follow Penny Spot Beck which will be on your left, for just over half a mile, through the Penny Spot Plantation and back to Elsing Road. You will pass through another gate as you approach the road. 6. Cross the road and go through the gate (there is a permissive access sign board by the gate showing your position). Walk straight on for a little under 100 yards.

Walk instructions Shorter option… You can shorten this walk to 1.4 miles although unfortunately it doesn’t take in the stunning river views. At instruction #2 below, turn right on to Elsing Road instead of crossing it and walk for just under half a mile. After crossing a small bridge, turn right through a gate in to a field where there is a permissive access signboard showing your position. Walk straight on for a little under 100 yards and then pick up instruction #7 below. 1. Starting at Park Farm (Hunter’s Hall), walk north along the drive towards Elsing Road.

7. Go through the gap in the hedge and turn right following the course of the drain. Continue following the drain through the next field and at the end of this field, turn left following the field edge. 8. Go through a gate and turn right, again following the field edge. Turn right on to the track and follow this back to Park Farm. Walk round the left of the farm back to the car park at the front of the buildings. You can also start this walk from All Saints Church, North of the village. Follow way marking to join the circular route.

2. Cross Elsing road and continue along the lane to Castle Farm. As you approach Castle farm, turn right through a large gap in the hedge to the field. There is a Natural England permissive access sign here which shows the line of the permissive path. Walk to the far left hand corner of the field to a gate. 3. Go through the gate and walk straight on, crossing a track and then a drain before approaching the River Wensum. You will see a permissive access board in front of you. Turn right following the path along the river bank. 4. Continue along the path which follows the course of the river for just over a mile. You will pass through several gates en route. 30

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Swanton Morley (Carrick Estate)

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A stunning and invigorating walk with spectacular views as you follow the course of the River Wensum through a traditional Norfolk farming landscape.

Castle Farm

Penny Spot Plantation

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•Kingfisher Photograph by John Harding

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Look out for... • White Park cattle grazing from May to October • Small white butterflies during July and August in hedgerows and wildflower meadows • Swans, Canadian geese, ducks, tufted ducks and kingfishers on and around the River Wensum • Deer and pheasant in marshy land around the river • Lapwings over the farmland • Barn owls and herons

Park Farm

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Earthworks (County Wildlife Site)

Walk 6 Short cut Parking P Church 0

½km ¼mile

This map is based upon Ordnance Survey material with the permission of Ordnance Survey on behalf of the Controller of Her Majesty’s Stationery Office © Crown copyright. Unauthorised reproduction infringes Crown copyright and may lead to prosecution or civil proceedings. Norfolk County Council. Licence No: 100019340. 2009.

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Swanton Morley (Carrick Estate)

The Carrick Farm 

The 720 acre Carrick Estate comprises of two farms, Castle Farm situated by the River Wensum and Park Farm (pictured below) as well as a number of diversifications such as Hunter’s Hall, Carrick’s Guesthouse, a secluded 8 acre caravan and campsite, Carrick Farm Butchers and Darby’s Freehouse. Both the farms were once part of the 7500 acre Bylaugh estate which was sold in 1919. Castle farm was bought by the Carrick family in 1929 and was probably named after an earlier moated house positioned in the bend of the river. Park farm was added in 1946 bringing the estate to its 720 acres. The farm produces combinable crops such as wheat, barley, oilseed rape and beans on 400 acres of the arable land and a 100-strong suckler herd, including a small pedigree herd of rare White Park cattle which graze the low-lying meadowland. The White Park cattle are of ancient lineage, dating back more than two thousand years The farm has entered into a Higher Level Stewardship scheme funded by DEFRA and administered by Natural England which helps protect the environment and enhances biodiversity, encouraging wildlife to stay and thrive on the farm. Examples include planting grass and wildflower margins around fields, managing water levels and leaving areas exclusively for wildlife conservation. Wild bird seed plots for farmland birds as well as lapwing plots and hedgerow establishment are also methods of biodiversity enhancement. Natural England monitor the scheme and environmental benefits. 34

A network of permissive paths has also been created to give walkers access to the estate enabling them to experience both the diversity of the farmland and the beauty of the Wensum Valley. Visit the website and follow the links for more information about the Carrick Estate: www.carricksatcastlefarm.co.uk or call 01362 638302/637227

Hunter’s Hall

Hunter’s Hall is a stunning venue for weddings, conferences and other events with luxury accommodation and food locally produced. There is also a tea room, Peggy’s Pantry open Thursday to Sunday, 11am to 4pm which provides a range of refreshments for when you’ve finished your invigorating walk. The staff are welcoming and friendly and ready to help direct you to a range of activities both on site and elsewhere in the surrounding area. Visit the website for more information: www.huntershall.com or call 01362 637457.

Deer Park at Swanton Morley

This walk crosses an old deer park. There were over 60 medieval deer parks in Norfolk, their existence often indicated by Park or Lodge Farms, or field names such Old Park Piece or The Lounds. Two parks are known to have existed in Swanton Morley – first recorded in the early fourteenth century. In 1395 William Curson, with other evildoers broke the park at Swanton, and hunted in park and warren without leave, taking deer, hares, coneys, pheasants and partridges. 35

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7

Gressenhall/ Beetley Photographs: Norfolk Museums and Archaeology Service

Start point Parking Distance Details

Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse or Gressenhall Green Grid reference TF974171 (Mus) • Postcode NR20 4DR Grid reference TF965165 (Green) • Postcode NR20 4DU Museum car park – only during museum opening hours – see www.museums.norfolk.gov.uk for opening times, otherwise, start from the Green 4.5 miles Minor gradients, 50% soft (toilets/refreshments during museum/café opening hours)

Walk instructions If starting from the Green, walk towards Litcham Road and cross to Bittering Street. Continue along Bittering Street and then pick up instruction #4 below.

8. Pass Vale Farm and at the crossroads, turn left on to a lane. Follow this lane for a short distance and then cross straight over the B1146 to Field Lane. Follow Field Lane for approximately half a mile and then turn right on to Church Road. 9. After approximately 250 yards, you come to an island junction with Chapel Lane. Follow the footpath straight ahead which crosses the field. The public footpath should be sign posted. 10. Cross High House Road and follow the footpath straight on through woodland. Follow the path as it passes some houses and the playing field behind St Mary’s County Primary School. 11. Turn left on Fakenham Road. Cross to the pavement on the other side where safe to do so and continue to walk back to the museum. Turn right in to the museum entrance. (If you started at Gressenhall Green, follow instructions #1 and #2 to find your way back to your start point.)

1. Start at Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse and turn right on to Fakenham Road. 2. Turn right at the island on to Litcham Road, passing Gressenhall Farm on your left and continuing to walk to Gressenhall village. You are now on the Nar Valley Way. 3. At the fork in the road, turn right on to Bittering Street and follow the road for approximately 600 yards. 4. At the crossroads, turn left on to Longham Lane. Manor Farm is on your left. 5. After approximately 100 yards, turn right on to a restricted byway between the hedgerows opposite Manor Farm. 6. Continue on this track for just over half a mile. Turn right at the end on to Stoney Lane. 7. At the crossroads continue straight on. 36

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Gressenhall/ Beetley

This map is based upon Ordnance Survey material with the permission of Ordnance Survey on behalf of the Controller of Her Majesty’s Stationery Office © Crown copyright. Unauthorised reproduction infringes Crown copyright and may lead to prosecution or civil proceedings. Norfolk County Council. Licence No: 100019340. 2009.

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An attractive walk linking the rural parishes of Gressenhall and Beetley. The route takes you along part of the Nar Valley Way, a long distance path of 34 miles in total that runs from Kings Lynn to Gressenhall almost entirely within the valley of the River Nar.

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Bittering Street crossroads Photograph: Norfolk Museums and Archaeology Service

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Look out for the 17th century timber framed cottage, with an early 19th century clay lump and brick chapel. The chapel was originally built as a school, before becoming a Methodist chapel in the 1920s. 39

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Gressenhall/ Beetley Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse Museum of Norfolk Life

The main building dates back to 1777, with 19th century enlargements. The museum, was once a workhouse and provided food, lodgings and work for ill or destitute people from the local parishes between 1777 and 1948.

Gressenhall Farm 

Gressenhall Farm is run as a traditional 1920s farm with rare breed animals such as Red Poll cattle, Norfolk Horn Sheep, Large Black Pigs and the popular Suffolk Punch Horses working the fields.

Did you know?

● The Suffolk Punch is one of the oldest breeds of working horse recorded in the UK, where the history of the horses can be traced back to the 18th century. The breed was distinctive to East Anglia and few horses moved to other parts of the country. ● The Suffolk Punch was hard hit by the introduction of mechanized farming in the 1960s and almost died out. Since then, there has been much effort in breeding these horses. ● The Suffolk Punch is now rarer than the Giant Panda with potentially less than 400 left in the UK.

 Visit Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse Museum of Norfolk Life…

Set in 50 acres of unspoilt Norfolk countryside, Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse is a fantastic day out for all the family. There is so much to see and do from meeting the animals on the farm and learning about the past lives of Norfolk people to visiting the orchard and gardens, walking the pretty riverside trails or enjoying a cart ride around the farm courtesy of the gentle Suffolk Punch. There are a range of other attractions including a woodland adventure playground, picnic areas, café and shop as well as a variety of events throughout the museum’s opening season which are great fun for all the family. Visit www.museums.norfolk.gov.uk and follow the links for lots more information and opening times. You can also contact the museum on 01362 860563 or email [email protected] Photographs: Norfolk Museums and Archaeology Service

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8

Hoe via Hoe Rough

Start point Parking Distance Details

Hoe Rough car parking area Grid reference TF978168 Free 3.5 miles Long and gentle gradients, 70% soft

Cross the road and follow the public footpath the other side keeping to the left of the hedge. 7. At the end of this field follow the public footpath right along Mill Lane. The plantation should be on your left and the field edge on your right. The grassy path will become a hard surface path. 8. Mill Lane then becomes a soft path through a woodland area before returning to hard surface again past some houses. Follow the lane to the main road (B1146 Fakenham Road). Cross the road back to the car park at Hoe Rough.

Walk instructions 1. Start at the car park just off the B1146 Fakenham Road, opposite Mill Lane. Walk through the gate on to Hoe Rough nature reserve and follow the wide grassy path through the middle of the reserve. 2. Follow the path to the B1110. Cross the road and follow the public footpath the other side. You will pass a house on your right and then the path takes you through some woodland before opening out to a grassy area. Follow the path straight on until you come to Hoe Road. 3. Turn right on this road and after approximately 250 yards, turn left, walking under the railway bridge. Note there is no road name here. 4. Follow this road and then turn left on to Hall Road. After approximately 50 yards turn right. Note there is no road name here. 5. After approximately 650 yards, you will reach a small road junction. Turn right here on to a public footpath. There is a surviving Second World War ‘pill box’ partially obscured by the undergrowth on the left at this point. The footpath will take you over the Mid Norfolk Railway line and then across the field to a country lane. 6. Cross the lane and follow the public footpath crossing a large field to the road (B1146). Cross the road and continue following the path along the field edge. The path bends sharply left at the end. Follow the path for a few yards before it exits to the road (B1110). 42

Hoe Rough: A Norfolk Wildlife Trust Nature Reserve Hoe Rough is owned and managed by Norfolk Wildlife Trust. The reserve is open access and designated both a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and County Wildlife Site (CWS). There are marked out paths across the reserve and nature trails which meander though it. Have a look at the information boards while you are here and discover what it is that makes the environment special. The site is a combination of oak and birch woodland, scrub, heathland and unimproved grassland which is sometimes grazed. Visit www.norfolkwildlifetrust. org.uk for more information about Norfolk nature reserves.

Did you know?

● Oak trees can live to be 1000 years old – the large size of the trees on Hoe Rough indicates that they are around 300 years old. Please keep your dog on a lead or under tight control where cattle are grazing and between 1st March and 31st July during bird nesting season. 43

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Hoe via Hoe Rough Key

This walk takes you across Hoe Rough, a quiet, peaceful and relaxing environment ideal for clearing the mind.

Gressenhall Farm

•Broad-bodied chaser Photograph by Mike Dawson

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Take a few moments to stop en route and look at the Mid Norfolk Railway line with tracks still laid… as you follow the railway track in to the distance imagine the trains that once passed under this bridge.

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• Flora such as the green-winged orchid, bird’s foot trefoil, cuckoo flower and heather • fauna such as the broad-bodied chaser dragonfly, orange tip butterfly and adders • mature oak trees

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This map is based upon Ordnance Survey material with the permission of Ordnance Survey on behalf of the Controller of Her Majesty’s Stationery Office © Crown copyright. Unauthorised reproduction infringes Crown copyright and may lead to prosecution or civil proceedings. Norfolk County Council. Licence No: 100019340. 2009.

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9

Whinburgh

Start point Parking Distance Details

Church Lane by St Mary’s Church Grid reference TG005089 – 2.7 miles Minor gradients, 80% soft

Walk instructions Please note: Car parking is limited in the village. Please park carefully and considerately on the roadside where it is suitable to do so and make your way to the start point. Please do not block roads, footpaths, driveways or field entrances. 1. Start by St Mary’s Church on Church Road. With the church on your right, walk a very short distance on the road and turn right along the public footpath. 2. At the end of this path, turn left on to Shop Street and after a short distance, as Shop Street bends to the left, continue walking straight on along the public footpath along the field edge. 3. Cross a wide track (Field Lane) and continue along the footpath. Walk through a woodland area. Exit the woodland following the field edge to your left until you come to another wooded area. Follow the footpath through the trees and climb the three steps up to the road.

6. Follow the public right of way as it bends sharply to the left and then at Park Farm Cottages, turn right through a rambler gate. Follow this path along the fence line until you reach a drain. Follow the drain left for approximately 60 yards. Cross the drain and proceed to a track. 7. On reaching the track, turn left and head towards Manor Farm. The track bends right round Manor Farm. At Manor Farm Cottages, bear right on to the road. 8. At the fork in the road, bear right on to Church Road. Arrive back at the start point by St Mary’s Church.

Whinburgh

Whinburgh is part of the small Breckland Parish of Whinburgh and Westfield located to the south of Dereham. The name Whinburgh is thought to derive from the Old English for fortified place overgrown with furze.

4. Turn left on to Whinburgh Road. Follow the road for approximately 200 yards and just after the road bends at Broom Corner, turn right along the public footpath (track) between the houses. Pass Home Farm on your left. 5. Follow the footpath along the track towards Park Farm.

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Whinburgh

A pretty walk across a classic Norfolk farming landscape. The views are uplifting, the surroundings are calming and the walk is quiet and peaceful. Field Lane

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Look out for... St Mary’s Church (13th century and later) • Common farmland birds such as lapwing, grey partridge, skylark, barn owls

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This map is based upon Ordnance Survey material with the permission of Ordnance Survey on behalf of the Controller of Her Majesty’s Stationery Office © Crown copyright. Unauthorised reproduction infringes Crown copyright and may lead to prosecution or civil proceedings. Norfolk County Council. Licence No: 100019340. 2009.

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•Lapwing Photograph by Jill Pakenham

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Yaxham

Start point Parking Distance Details

Jubilee Park, Yaxham Village Hall car park Grid reference TG007105 • Postcode NR19 1RX Village Hall car park – free (please ensure you park on the brick weave) 4.1 miles (from the village hall) 5.1 miles (from the MNR train station) Minor gradients, 70% soft refreshments Yaxham Mill, Norwich Road

Walk instructions Take the train and start this walk from the Mid Norfolk Railway station… You can start this walk from the Mid Norfolk Railway station on Station Road. It adds a total of one mile to the walk from Jubilee Park making it 5.1 miles in length. Turn right out of the station on to Station Road. At the end of Station Road, turn right on to Norwich Road. After approximately 250 yards, turn left in to Church Lane and follow to St Peter’s Church. Turn right on to the public footpath and follow behind the village hall. 1. From the Village Hall, walk east along the edge of the playing field to the far left hand corner. Pass through the gap in the trees and follow the public footpath along the right hand edge of this field. 2. Cross the footbridge and follow the cross field path to the gap in the hedgerow. Cross the ditch and follow the cross field path to Mill Lane. Note - If you turn right down Mill Lane, you come to Yaxham Mill. 3. Cross Mill Lane and bear diagonally left following the cross field path to Low Lane. On reaching Low Lane you will walk down a bank under the trees to the soft path. Turn right on this path. 50

4. Turn right on to Norwich Road using the pavement on the right hand side. 5. After nearly 100 yards, turn left on to Pinns Lane (restricted byway). At the end of Pinns Lane, turn left on to Stone Road. 6. Where the road bends sharply to the right, turn left on to the restricted byway (Mouses Lane). Follow this track across the field. 7. Turn Left on to Well Hill and walk through Clint Green. 8. Cross Norwich Road and follow the path straight on between the shop and the school. 9. Follow the path through the field and turn left on to Cutthroat Lane. Pass Spring Lane Farm and shortly after, turn left on to Green Lane (restricted byway). 10. Follow the track past Manor Farm and where the track forks, bear left on to Low Lane. 11. Turn right at the public footpath post and follow the footpath back across the field. 12. Cross Mill Lane and follow the cross field paths straight on to Jubilee Park. Walk back along the field edge and turn left through the gap in the trees to the playing field. Walk down the right hand side edge of the playing field to the village hall car park.

St Peter’s Church

St Peter’s Church has a Norman round tower (late 11th/early 12th century). The rest of the building is mostly 14th and 15th century.

Cutthroat Lane

The walk takes you along part of Cutthroat Lane which was laid out in the 19th century. Visit the parish website www.yaxham.com to read more about the history of Cutthroat Lane and other stories about the village.

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Yaxham

An attractive and vitalizing rural walk with superb views across the farmland. Look out for Yaxham Mill in the distance as you cross the fields at the start of the walk.

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½km ¼mile This map is based upon Ordnance Survey material with the permission of Ordnance Survey on behalf of the Controller of Her Majesty’s Stationery Office © Crown copyright. Unauthorised reproduction infringes Crown copyright and may lead to prosecution or civil proceedings. Norfolk County Council. Licence No: 100019340. 2009.

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Shipdham

Start point Parking Distance Details

The Green (off the A1075, opposite the Post Office) Grid reference TF960074 • Postcode IP25 7LA Free parking around the Green There is also a small car parking area just off Swan Lane 4.4 miles Minor gradients, 40% soft

7. Turn left on to Blackmoor Road and follow for just over half a mile. Turn left on to the public footpath cross field. This should be indicated by a signpost at the right hand side of the road. 8. Follow the footpath to the right of Model Farm. Turn left on to the lane for a few yards and then turn right on to the way marked path cross field. Follow the footpath as it leaves the field and passes through some woodland. 9. Turn left on Market Street, crossing the road to the pavement on the other side. Turn right shortly after this on to the public footpath between the houses. The footpath passes some allotment gardens.

Walk instructions Shorter options Try the southern loop (2.8 miles) or the northern loop (3 miles) for a shorter walk. 1. Start at the Green. Turn right on to Chapel Street following the pavement on the right hand side. 2. Just after the grassy area, turn right on to the public footpath that runs past some houses to your left. Follow this path for approximately 100 yards before turning left between the houses. This path exits to a culde-sac at the end of Park Highatt Drive. Turn right. 3. As the road bends round to the left, turn right on to the public footpath between the houses. 4. Turn left on to Pound Green Lane for a short distance and then turn right on to Watery Lane (public footpath).

10. At the end of the allotment gardens, turn right on to the restricted byway (Hall’s Lane). Follow the track as it bends sharply to the left and sharply to the right and shortly after this turn left on to Gooseacre Lane. 11. At the junction, follow Gooseacre Lane sharply to the left. Keep following the road past the farms and continue straight on at a small junction to Swan Lane. 12. Keep following Swan Lane until it exits to Market Street. Turn right on to Market Street, following the road as it becomes Chapel Street. Turn left back to the Green just before you reach the Post Office. Visit the Norfolk countryside access website, www.countrysideaccess.norfolk.gov.uk for an additional circular walk in Shipdham, approximately 4.5 miles in length.

5. Where Watery Lane bends sharply to the left, continue straight on the public footpath following the field edge. 6. As you near the end of this field, follow the path through the gap in the hedge on your right and then turn left following the field edge all the way to the road. 54

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Shipdham

A pleasant figure of eight walk taking in a long bridleway through the Blackwater Valley, an area of former heathland to the north-east of the village. ne

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● S hipdham is one of the highest and longest villages in Norfolk. ● S hipdham once had 27 public houses, two churches and three chapels. 

Swan Lane

●N  earby Shipdham Airfield was constructed during the Second World War and was the first US heavy bomber base in Norfolk.

 All Saints Church

This is a large, handsome church dating back mainly to the 13th to 15th centuries. It has a striking appearance due to the unusual 17th century cupola that sits on top of the 15th century tower. Inside there is a rustic Norman font among other fascinating features.

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Key

Allotments

● S ince the 16th century, villagers have congregated on the village green for the annual Drynkkings festival

Visit the village website, www.shipdham.org for more information

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This map is based upon Ordnance Survey material with the permission of Ordnance Survey on behalf of the Controller of Her Majesty’s Stationery Office © Crown copyright. Unauthorised reproduction infringes Crown copyright and may lead to prosecution or civil proceedings. Norfolk County Council. Licence No: 100019340. 2009.

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Walks locations

Useful contacts

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B1108 This map is based upon Ordnance Survey material with the permission of Ordnance Survey on behalf of the Controller of Her Majesty’s Stationery Office © Crown copyright. Unauthorised reproduction infringes Crown copyright and may lead to prosecution or civil proceedings. Norfolk County Council. Licence No: 100019340. 2009.

Are you interested in walking with a group? The Breckland and Brandon Walking for Health Scheme delivers a series of led walks in the Dereham area. Visit www.breckland.gov.uk/ walking_for_health for further information and contact details.

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Mid Norfolk Railway www.mnr.org.uk 01362 851723 English Heritage www.english-heritage.org.uk Norfolk Churches Trust www.norfolk-churches.co.uk Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse www.museums.norfolk.gov.uk 01362 860563 Carrick Estate, Swanton Morley www.carricksatcastlefarm.co.uk 01362 638302/637227 Hunter’s Hall (Carrick Estate) www.huntershall.com 01362 637457 Norfolk Biodiversity www.norfolkbiodiversity.org Norfolk Wildlife Trust www.norfolkwildlifetrust.org.uk Royal Society for the Protection of Birds www.rspb.org.uk Ted Ellis Trust at Wheatfen Nature Reserve www.wheatfen.org Walking the Way to Health www.whi.org.uk Active Norfolk www.activenorfolk.org NHS Norfolk www.norfolk-pct.nhs.uk

Norfolk County Council www.norfolk.gov.uk Breckland Council www.breckland.gov.uk Dereham Town Council http://derehamtc.norfolkparishes.gov.uk/ Yaxham Parish Council www.yaxham.com North Elmham www.northelmhamvillage.org.uk/ Shipdham Parish Council www.shipdham.org Norfolk Countryside Access www.countrysideaccess.norfolk.gov.uk Open Access www.openaccess.gov.uk Natural England www.naturalengland.org.uk Local national trail/ long distance paths www.nationaltrail.co.uk Ramblers Association www.ramblers.org.uk Norfolk Heritage Explorer www.heritage.norfolk.gov.uk Norfolk Online Access to Heritage www.noah.norfolk.gov.uk Dereham Tourism Information www.dereham-tic.org.uk 01362 698992 Dereham Antiquarian Society www.derehamhistory.com 59

Project information Acknowledgements Many thanks to the following organisations for their support of the Health, Heritage and Biodiversity Walks project; for their help in developing the walking routes and their general input to the publication: Breckland and Brandon “Fit Together” Walking for Health Scheme and their volunteers; Dereham Town Council; local Parish Councils; local landowners; Dereham Area Partnership; Mid Norfolk Railway Preservation Trust; Wensum Valley Trust; Ted Ellis Trust; Norfolk Wildlife Trust; Carrick Estate/Hunter’s Hall; Natural England Thanks also to: Norfolk Museums (Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse) and Archaeology Services for their input and supply of pictures.

Further information The Dereham Tourist Information Office is located at Church House on Church Street and is open from Easter to the end of September every year. Pop in to pick up local area information or visit the website (see useful contacts).

Contact If you have any comments regarding these walks, whether good or not so good – tell us what you think! Write to: Norfolk County Council, County Hall, Martineau Lane, Norwich, Norfolk NR1 2SG Email: [email protected] Phone: 01603 222769 • All information correct at time of going to press (July 2009) • Printed on recycled paper using vegetable based inks

Norfolk County Council at your service G22611 7/09 CB

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oing for a walk in natural surroundings is one of the easiest

and most enjoyable ways to maintain good health, to relax, unwind and re-charge your batteries. This book has 11 walks of varying lengths, ideal to fit in with daily life. The locations have been chosen to help you enjoy and appreciate our Norfolk heritage, both natural and man-made, linking history to nature and health. Enjoy the walks!

Norfolk County Council at your service