Wellbeing Walks – Visiting the Hedgerows – 12th October, 11am-1pm

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Mapping Bungay is a year-long project based on a series of walks in and around the town, organised by Sustainable Bungay’s Arts, Culture and Wellbeing group. You can find out more about the project here. There is also an essay, written by Charlotte (Rewilding the Future) in the recent EarthLines magazine, you might like to check out for an overview. Meanwhile here are Mark and Tony on our summer walks.

Throughout the summer the Arts, Culture and Wellbeing group continued their monthly walks in and around Bungay, meeting up at the library, in a pub or on the Common, to decide on a route before heading off.

We’ve visited (and swum in) the river Waveney, explored the town’s play areas, relaxed on a hot July afternoon under the lime trees in bloom and walked over Bath Hills to Earsham on a Saturday in August, where we stopped at the Queen’s Head for a drink and an animated discussion about the industrial food system!

In the heat of August we helped locate our Annual Picnic by the site of Baldry’s Mill: Sally Harrington reports: “This was a first visit to this lovely part of Bungay common for quite a few people. There was a good turnout, and a lot of excellent food.We were lucky with the weather, though only one person was brave enough to venture in for swimming  – aside from the young men leaping  from a surprisingly high point of an alder tree!” On Car Free Day Tony Dawes led a group down the tracks towards the old railway station and encountered a dilemma with a horse (see full report below)!

Normanston_Allotments_Aug_056Part of the beauty of these walks is the focus of attention to place and time, taking notice of the season, for example, and how it feels to be in the areas visited. Our individual impressions are then talked about amongst everyone who takes part. These things are simple, but they do contribute to a sense of well-being and feeling at home. It’s making a space for them that matters.

Our next walk is a Visit to the Hedgerows in and around Bungay. We will be looking at the trees in their autumn glory, foraging for hips and haws and delving into the lore and history of these roadside ecosystems. Led by Richard (Suffolk Wildlife Trust) Vinton, alongside Mark (Plants for Life) Watson and Charlotte (52 Flowers That Shook My World) Du Cann this will be a treat for anyone who loves rambling and wants to know more about plants in one of England’s most valuable (and often threatened) sancturies for wild creatures, insects and flowers.

In the winter we’ll be making a map of the walks we’ve done this year. Everyone and anyone is welcome to these events! (Mark Watson)

A Wellbeing Walk for Car Free Day or Four Walkers and a Horse (and Rider)

578520_602051733181071_2097786065_nBreakfast was taken (with thanks for the free drink to the Buttercross Tearooms), the route was chosen, the walkers were ready and then the horse and rider appeared. A horse, coming for a walk on Car Free Day? What a splendid idea. One small problem – part of the route involved Outney Meadow and horses are not allowed. Bungay is almost unique in Britain in that it still has a Town Reeve. A person with not inconsiderable power and influence. One phone call later and we had permission to take a horse onto the meadow! The plan was to walk down Outney Road and over the footbridge onto the meadow by the golf club. The A143 is all that remains of the old railway line in Bungay and the station would have been just about underneath the footbridge. We were to meet horse and rider by the golf club but had not taken the cattle grid into account, which the horse could not cross. Plan B was then to ride across the bridge following the walkers only the horse had other ideas and refused to cross. Oh well, nice try.

The short walk through the meadow to the main entrance was accomplished without incident as was crossing the Old Railway Road, up Broad Street and into Nethergate Street. It was half way up that we encountered Richard Cundy, our powerful Town Reeve. He imparted the intelligence that Horse and Rider were to be found heading towards Falcon Meadow. Excellent, for that was where we were going.

We did indeed catch up with them on Falcon Meadow and walked to the Staithe by way of the weir. Fortunately, this time Horse was happy to cross the bridge with Sally leading the way. With the assistance of signage by the Riverside Centre, we could acquaint ourselves with another form of  Car Free transport, namely the sailing boats which once plied their trade from Lowestoft. We bade Horse and Rider farewell at the beginning of Staithe Road as we were to take a diversion around the island.

All that was left was Trinity Street then Earsham Street and into the Earsham Street Café for 10% off tea and toast (thanks Gemma and Mike). So that was it, a good walk on a Car Free Day with reminders of transport from yesteryear. Wellbeing at its best. (Tony Dawes)

Wellbeing Walk – Visiting Hedgrows, 12th October, 11am-1pm. Meet at Castle Meadow outside the marquee.

Images: en route to Earsham (CDC); Sustainable Bungay Annual Picnic (Lesley Hartley); horse, rider and walker, Car Free Day (Josian Meldrum)

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