Sunday, April 13, 2014

Scenes from around the fens of Lodes Way

Monday, 24th March 2014:  As I write this is it halfway through April and my posts haven’t made it out of March! So I’d better be economical with the writing and try and catch up.  The good news is that my cycling is still going strong (relatively strong anyway).  The byways and bridleway are all drying up and becoming pleasant cycling routes again.

Spring is also motoring cycling along (funny how car-centric our language has become) which  definitely helps. Each time I go out on my bike the countryside has moved forward another step.

So this post will be one of few words (and not that many pictures. This rather strange thing being used to till the field looks rather like a cylinder mower – although the blades are bars rather than cutters. Although they might actually be blades – I guess it is simple and mechanically robust and presumably cheaper to buy.

Tilling a field alongside White Fen, Lodes Way

After crossing Swaffham Bulbeck Lode I went up the byway alongside the Lode.

Swaffham Bulbeck Lode byway

I then turned off and back around towards Rail Drove and back onto Lodes Way. At this time of year it is usual to see a few fields covered (with agricultural fleece  or polystyrene) to warm up the soil to speed the germination and growth of plants.  

Fleeced Fields of the Fens – Rail Drove, Lodes Way

The track just before Rail Drove has had some trees planted – the deer around here can be a nuisance as they can destroy saplings – whoever planted these trees was through.

Young Saplings under Guard from Deer – Rail Drove, Lodes Way

As usual I cycled through to Upware and then back through Wicken Fen, but for a change cycled down alongside Reach Lode towards Reach.

Drainage alongside Reach Lode

This is the track alongside Reach lode – in places it seemed pretty soggy – a leaky bank perhaps.

Reach Lode – Underbank

I then headed onto NCN51 and home.


  1. The link about agricultural fleece had me wondering what they do with it when they remove it, and what they do with it after removal. Farming in the fen region must be a soggy, muddy business.

  2. I believe the fleece is bio-degradable. I have also seen the plastic bundled up along the side of the fields after it has done its job. I'll ask my son he knows some farmers.

    Although the land is low and flat it has a pretty good drainage system so in the dry summer months you often see the fields being irrigated by pumping water out of the drains ditches) onto the fields. We have one of the lowest rainfalls in the UK. Although it dfoesn't always feel that way. (In fact the fields are already being irrigated in some places - pictures will appear in future posts.)