29 September 2019, Walk and Garden Party

A47 bridge Although the weather forecast was not promising, a small group of walkers set off from The Neatherd - in the dry - to pass the High School and Yaxham Road Industrial Estate and walk alongside the A47 on Restricted Byway 37. On the positive side, this is one of the six newly recognised public rights of way, added to the Definitive Map in 2018. On the negative side, it was barely adequate to accommodate walkers, let alone the horse riders and carriage drivers who now have the legal right to use it. In addition, parts of it were covered in litter, mainly, it would seem, left by people using the adjacent layby from the eastbound carriageway of the A47. Dereham Walkers are Welcome has raised this issue with Dereham Town Council, which does not itself have responsibility for litter, but which we hope can help bring together the District and County Councils, plus Highways England, to tackle this mess.

MNR Pannier Tank That poor experience over, we crossed the A47 bridge to go further east and then turn south to join the track through Dumpling Green. In spite of the recent rain, the level of mud and puddle was easily manageable. We crossed Yaxham Road but then had to wait to cross the railway line while the Mid‑Norfolk Railway’s visitor Swiftsure passed, rushing a couple of coaches up the gradient towards Yaxham.

Potters Fen Then it was on around the south of Dereham to reach and traverse Potter’s Fen, a haven of quiet among the houses. There followed a quick (and easy) crossing of the A47 before skirting the school grounds, to walk along Rolling Pin Lane, past Bishop Bonner’s Cottages and St Nicholas Church and into the town centre. All that was left was the short walk to the garden party ... at which point the weather finally dealt it’s blow: we started our tea/coffee and cake in the garden, but after 20 minutes had to retreat into the house because the rain was so heavy. Happily our hosts were good enough to allow us in, and even gave us extra cake.
Coffee and Cake

Walk promotion flyer (pdf, opens in new tab).

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