Saturday, 4 June 2011
A Riverside Ramble
To the east of the Fens lies Breckland, a unique but often overlooked area of the country, but not overlooked by me; it's where we're off to today. The light sandy soils were easily worked by early farmers but were soon exhausted (the soils not the farmers!). The name "Breckland" is probably derived from "broken land", as an area of heathland developed with its own special plants, animals and birds. One plant you can't miss in summer is Vipers Bugloss:
After the First World War much of the area was planted with conifers but nowadays recreation is more important than timber - it's said that ice-cream sales now provide more revenue than wood! I certainly bought one on my walk from Thetford to Brandon, following the River Little Ouse. The valley still contains plenty of natural woodland, a welcome change from the armies of conifers.