Friday, October 06, 2006

Spixworth in Spring


“Consider, the flowers of the field” says Jesus. As Winter gives way to Spring, it is the flowers of the woodland that lead the way but it’s the same idea! Aconites, snowdrops, primroses, bluebells, orchids…… Snowdrops were being celebrated at St. Peter, Spixworth on Sunday 12th February 2006 with an open day and walks in the churchyard and the surrounding countryside. Unfortunately the heavens were open that day too and February Fill-Dyke lived up to its name! St. Peter’s repeated the exercise on 26th February. On Monday 1st May between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. it was Bluebell Day at Spixworth. Beginning at the church there were walks of various lengths - ¾, 11/2 or 3 miles - with prayer stations on the way, as children’s environmental activities and refreshments.

Jesus’ spiritual practice led him away from the towns and villages. Many of us need to go “apart from the world” too. At bluebell time one of the places worth retreating to is Foxley Wood. It is a true sanctuary, Norfolk’s largest area of ancient woodland, under the care of the Norfolk Wildlife Trust. The wood is open daily, except Thursdays. You’ll find it signposted from the A1067 Norwich to Fakenham road at Map Ref TG 049 229 . Buses stop a 15-minute walk away. Entry is free. Apart from bluebells in early May a visitor can expect to see early purple orchids, a host of other wildflowers, birds and butterflies. Perhaps you will catch a glimpse of a deer passing silently through the trees! Dogs are not allowed in the wood.

Wheelchair users will find the tracks and paths at Spixworth, Foxley at best quite bumpy and at worse impassable but its worth knowing that Norfolk Wildlife Trust is very serious about disabled access. Details of opening times, disabled provision etc. at all their reserves can be seen on their website www.norfolkwildlifetrust.org.uk or in their reserves handbook which can be ordered on 01603 -625540 . In addition there are 67 Roadside Nature Reserves in Norfolk some with a spectacular number of species. For example, try Backwood Lane. It runs to the east of Brooke Wood (Map Ref. TM 270979 -268990)

© 2006 Richard Woodham

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