Saturday, April 28, 2007

Woods and Pigs

Wow, what a day! We have discovered a whole new world within 20 minutes of Moreton Hall. After doing the usual Saturday morning jobs of washing, more washing etc, we decided to take the children out in the countryside for a long walk. Our first venture was a drive out to Bradfield Woods, a coppiced wood which is part of the Suffolk Wildlife Trust.

This was our first visit and what a gem. The leaflet that we picked up when we got there states that the woods (which are made up of Felsham Hall Wood and Monk's Park Wood) were once owned by the Abbey of Bury St Edmunds and some of the giant coppice stools, that you find on the trail, date back to this time. Coppicing was developed as a way to harvest woodland, cutting the trees just above ground level so that they grow with many stems rather than a trunk, in order to create a crop of timber poles. The first record of coppicing at Bradfield Woods dates from 1252.

Our young boys had a gr
eat time, running along the paths. Even for this time of year we saw loads of butterflies and the birdsong was in full flow.

Bradfield Woods is a bit out in the sticks, which is part of its appeal. No Ice-cream sellers, no cafe, just pure bliss. The only thing that you might need money for is to put a donation in the donation box, or to buy some of the coppiced wood. This will now become one of our regular haunts for the family.

And off on our bikes

After a hearty lunch at home (and more washing), we decided to go on a bike ride to explore a cycle path that I had noticed just off Kempson Way (Route 13 of the National Cycle Network). It runs between the new Suffolk Business Park and the older Moreton Hall Business Park.

We cycled down the path, which soon led to a brand new path which runs alongside the A14 and down to the underpass, which goes under the A14 (which was created when the A14 was redeveloped). When we reached the other end , we discovered a real treat, an enormous pig farm. It was huge, almost like a housing estate for lots of pinky & perkys. Couldn't help thinking of a bizarre song about a pig farm which I found on the net ages ago. If you have a mo' click on this link to play the "Give it all up" song. A bit bizarre but entertaining.

It was a great ride to take the children on, all within 20 minutes of our house. The ride home wasn't too bad either (except for the hills)!


Ruby in Bury said...

I LOVE Bradfield woods. We went last year on a rainy day, and even though it was chucking it down in the fields on either side, it was completely dry under all the trees.

I like the look of the cycle path that goes to the pig farm. My kids, who have been very late in learning are needing practice, so I'm sure we'll come over and give that path a try some time soon!

21st Century Mummy said...

Hi Ruby - the pig farm is great (and only a little bit smelly) Another ride that you might also like to do is the route out to Thurston, which goes past Rougham Airfield. Once you've managed to negotiate the hills of Moreton Hall, it's pretty flat all the way out to Thurston and you get a great down-hill ride back home.

MarkG said...

I pass Bradfield Woods every day on my way in to work in Bury. I'd much rather stop there and spend the day walking than carry on!

The woods seem to have a tardis effect - once you get in there it seems you can wander around much further than it looks on a map.

21st Century Mummy said...

Hi Mark - I know what you mean about the tardis effect. We needed to get back for lunch as I hadn't been organised enough to pack a picnic, but we could have stayed there all day. I can't wait to go and try out the other walks.