Make a resolution to join our annual New Year’s Day walk – a gentle three-hour stroll through Langdyke countryside giving you the chance to shake off the old and get set for the new.
This year the walk will set off from the Hills and Holes car park, off Wittering Road, Barnack, at 1pm prompt.
The route has been planned by Langdyke member David Alvey who will also be one of the leaders and who knows the area well.
He says: “I’ve mapped out a route which I know well from multiple dog walks and will recce it a few days before to check for any specific issues, in particular muddy stretches.”
That said, it will be important to make sure that if you are taking part you wear the appropriate clothing and footwear.
The route takes in several interesting nature sites across grazed grassland, typical arable fields (with two distinctly different forms of cultivation), some spinneys, hedgerows and even a spring fed pond and related stream/ditch.
It provides a good overview of the Langdyke countryside.
Dependent upon the weather it is possible you could see Red Kites, Buzzards, Yellowhammers, Skylarks and possibly Redwings and Fieldfares.
Independent of weather it is likely you will spot corvids and, of course, wood pigeons
The proposed route
Walk across Hills and Holes from the car park and out at the South-west corner along the public footpath that runs alongside Walcott Hall grounds.
Join the old Ermine Street route across the Western boundary of Walcott, past Southorpe Roughs SSSI and straight on to the southern end of Southorpe. Then back along the road through Southorpe (a little narrow and with no footpath in places but is now a 20mph limit).
We pass the Wildlife Trust reserve (SSSI), Southorpe Meadow and then continue out of the village towards Barnack picking up the public footpath along the old disused railway (through ‘Ufford Bridge Station’ which is potentially the only really muddy bit of the route).
Turning left back into Barnack to enter near the cricket club and back across the road into the Hills and Holes. This takes about 1:30 hours walking the dog but that is at a brisk pace.
There is a short cut across to the north end of Southorpe for those wanting a shorter walk (or weather is bad) and an extended route to take in a fourth SSSI (Southorpe Paddock) further to the south of Southorpe. This means a walk along a narrow unrestricted road and over a blind bridge so whilst New Years Day should be quiet on the roads I think it does present a more significant risk to participants.
- Suitable walking footware is only really required if we have particularly heavy rain (or snow) or the local hunt or agricultural machinery has churned up sections of the path. The going underfoot is fairly dry and stable even in mid-winter.