Saturday, August 24, 2013

Kingfishers Bridge

Wednesday, 24th J8uly 2013: I think this will have to be another word-lite post, otherwise I will never catch up. I am still a month behind – although on the bright side I have really enjoyed getting out and about over the last two months.

The weather during the Summer tends to be pretty dry here in the Flatlands which makes the byways and bridleways generally OK dry and solid,which apart form the ruts makes then good places to explore. 

So for a change, decided whilst on my default route round Wicken Fen I decided to visit Kingfishers Bridge, a nature reserve up on Dimmock’s Cote Road, next to the River Cam. Although I didn’t actually take any pictures of the area itself. There is a byway that passes it to the right and one that passes it to the left. The one on the left just seems to turn into a footpath though. Which seems a little odd. The 1930s map shows more promising tracks – but they don’t seem to have bequeathed rights of way to the farm tracks that now exist.

So I tend to cycle along to the right and the Car Park is on the way out and so it does not encourage me to stop and take pictures.

I often stop on the Swaffham Bulbeck Lode Bridge though (part of Lodes Way)..

A family of Swans on Swaffham Bulbeck Lode

Although I could have used other collective nouns. A bevy, or drift or sownder or team, to name but a few.

A Drift of Swans on Swaffham Bulbeck Lode

I turned of Lodes Way up to Upware along Great Drove.  Only one vehicle passed me up to Kingfishers Bridge. Where the road turns a corner I stopped to admire some irrigation in operation.  Whilst look at the OSM map I noticed that there is a nearby marina – Tip Tree Marina – I must check it out.

Irrigation along Great Drove

The only downside to the route is that I had to cycle a short distance along the A1123, quite a busy road. To turn right I went left onto Fodderfen Drove and then crossed the road with a clear view both ways. I would normally turn right form the road – but life is short enough. If you follow Fodderfen Drove south it is another byway that turns into a footpath. Which does not seem at all logical to me. Unless it was a route to a dock on the river?

A common feature of byways – telegraph poles.

Fodderfen Drove – looking towards Kingfishers Bridge

After a short way you reach the reserve. Apparently it was started in 1995 when 300 acres of arable farmland was transformed into  “a mosaic of wildlife habitats”. It was the work of a farmer – Andrew Green.

I do remember that the reserve came up for sale a couple of years ago through Savills, with an asking price of £2.3m. It appears to have a runway in the area as well. The website still shows Andrew Green as one of the contacts, so perhaps it was not sold after all? The website has a gallery of pictures.  The nearby house was also up for sale, along with a grass airstrip, 10-odd acres of grazing meadow and 6-odd acres of woodland.

Kingfishers Bridge – Information Board

I then cycled along Shaw’s Drove and joined NCN11 and headed by via Wicken Fen and Lodes Way. I passed Docking’s Lane – which is the route I normally use when coming up from Upware.

Docking’s Lane (the track to the left)

The recently pollarded trees are an odd sight alongside the Burwell Lode footbridge.

Burwell Lode Footbridge

Although this is a footbridge it is also on the route of the Lodes Way. As you can see it is quite steep and to get over the Lode you have to carry your bike or push it up a metal channel. It isn’t that easy, it is worth it though.

Cyclist pushing his bike up over the Burwell Lode Footbridge

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