The Boughton Walk
Sue describes the recently innovated Boughton Village Walk
Boughton now has a pleasant circular walk of about one and a half miles - just the thing for walking off Sunday lunch, or admiring the sunset after work. Permission has kindly been given by Albanwise at Barton Bendish, and Mr Paul Coulten of Boughton to walk on their land, and we would like to take this opportunity to thank them both for this.
As the walk uses farm tracks and grassy paths, it can be muddy, so suitable footwear is advisable. Dogs must be kept on leads whilst on private land, and a pair of binoculars may come in handy.
Starting from Boughton pond, with its ducks, moorhens and coots (and, at the time of writing, three swans), head down Church Lane. All Saints Church, with its ancient tower, dating back to the 14th century is on the right. The lane turns around the perimeter of the churchyard, and peters out into a rough track which then turns sharply left downhill. Once past the end of the hedge, the view here is quite spectacular, with the vast skies for which Norfolk is so well known.
To the left stands a dark area of woodland, known as Barton Leys, which frame the light coloured buildings at Kippers Farm. To the right, a much larger wood called the Channels stands out prominently. On the horizon behind, and to the right it is possible to pick out the church, water tower and both wind turbines at Swaffham, and the radio mast at North Pickenham. A clear day is best, and binoculars are a great help.
Deer, pheasants and hares frequent the fields ahead, magpies chatter furiously in the hedge behind, and stoats can sometimes be spotted in the ditch.
Take the first track to the right, and follow it to the tin barn at the end. Go through a metal field gate on the right (and close it). Walk along the grass path to the left, between the hedge and the new plantation. As you come out of the trees, keep straight ahead towards a structure on a pole, which is Paul's owlbox. If you are out late in the day (or very early), you may be lucky enough to see a barn owl in this area.
The path bears right, about 30 yards before the box, so that nesting birds are not disturbed, cutting the corner of the field and heading up the side with the hedge to the left, and another area of woodland on the right. It is worth looking back here towards Barton Bendish, and on a good day you can see the Hall.
As you go up the field, a glance through the hedge towards Eastmoor and Boughton Fen may well reveal a herd of deer. We have seen as many as 18 together here, and frequently more than a dozen.
Cross the stile at the end, onto the road and turn right. Follow the lane to the T junction. Wissington Factory is clearly visible through gaps in the hedge. Turn right at the junction and you will soon be back at the pond.