We are delighted that CPRE Norfolk have chosen Reepham as one of only four Norfolk settlements whose footpaths are to feature in the Connecting Threads project. We’re now hard at work developing the project and trying to give it some shape, and starting to interact with a small group of volunteers and with local schools.
Although only 12 miles from the middle of Norwich, Reepham lies in a rich and varied countryside. It is rich in footpaths, tracks and bridleways of all kinds. In addition, the former railway lines that now form Marriott’s Way are much enjoyed by walkers – although these are not ‘footpaths’ as such, they provide very useful links in the ‘walking web’ around Reepham and are rich in wildlife.
People new to Reepham sometime observe that there’s not a lot of public green space in the town. This may be true, but one special thing about Reepham is that it is so quick and easy to enter the surrounding countryside on foot. Its edges are very ‘permeable’, partly because so far it has not yet been surrounded by town-edge housing estates. This makes it a great location for a footpath and countryside project intended to involve a wide public. Perhaps together we can all develop a new appreciation of a richness that we may sometimes take for granted.
A small group of volunteers is now working together on preliminary fieldwork and discussions. At present we are doing some ‘reconnaissance walks’ from Reepham in different directions. This will help us get to know each other, and also to start appreciating the great variety of the local countryside. We are also learning more about hidden archaeological sites close to footpaths, and identifying wildlife ‘hot spots’ . Our aim is to view the summer as a development and planning period, and to follow this with a number of walks and other events for a wider public in the autumn (after the school hoidays have ended and everyone is back home!).
We still need volunteers to join our core group! In particular, we would like to meet people who have knowledge or skills they’d like to share – for example a knowledge of trees and wildlife, archaeology and history, or experience of film-making or recording oral history. But what we need most is enthusiasm and the ability to commit a little time to this shared project.
Please don’t hesitate to contact Imogen and Trevor Ashwin (01603 870523; firstname.lastname@example.org) if you are interested.