Coddenham Walk: Wednesday 6th March

Text contributed by Peter; pics by Ian.

The return of Spring encouraged a lot of fellow ramblers to dust off their boots, pull out a crumpled rucksack and grab a hat with ‘character’: in a new record for the Wednesday walks, 18 people and 5 dogs had beaming smiles and energy to burn for this walk of 5.5 miles. The route had mostly dried up, and the bright sunshine and mild breeze were just the right weather for a walk.

From Coddenham village hall, we followed the route up the incline of The Drift, where we had an early but enforced stop to allow everybody to disrobe. We then proceeded to Coddenham Wood and had stunning views towards Needham Market and the increasing skyline of the landfill site in the Great Blakenham area.

The path passed the site where houses forming the hamlet of Coddenham Row once stood, an outcrop of chalk from the extensive quarry pits, and the remains of a Lime Kiln. It was too early for abundant wild flowers but the initial blooms could be seen. We also passed Coddenham House with its walled garden. This was once the rectory (and a very nice one too).

After a welcome banana stop at St. Mary’s Church, Coddenham, we went into Broom Hill Wood. This was purchased by public subscription and then placed in the care of Coddenham Parish Council. A further short sharp climb allowed further extensive views of the western skyline and the keen eyed of the group could see Needham Market nestled in the valley.

Walking past Hemingstone Hall, we all agreed that the hoovering and window cleaning would put most people off making a bid for it. The muddiest and slippery part of the walk was near the end and required a certain amount of concentration.

The group was delighted that, after two months of muddy walks, reasonable walking conditions have now resumed and we did not need to apply Alfred Wainwright’s quote: ‘there’s no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing.’