|Suffolk Walking Festival 2022|
The 14th Suffolk Walking Festival launches on 14 May 2022 with over 70 guided walks during two weeks. See wild countryside, outstanding landscapes, rolling hills, forests, and coastal beauty spots. With lots of weekend, evening and family walks, the programme has accessible, short, medium, long distance walks, and challenging walks. There is something for everyone!
This year’s programme will discover a dragon in the iconic Stour Valley, explore Hawkedon’s horizons through idyllic green villages, celebrate 75 years at RSPB, one of the most special places in Suffolk, tell stories of smugglers and shipping routes at Dunwich Heath, and spend time watching Sweep the sheepdog, in action managing Orford Ness Nature Reserve’s very own herd of rare breed sheep.
You can tune into bats on a twilight safari through ancient woodland at Priestley Wood, brush up your whittling skills and make damper bread over an open fire in the woods at Thornham Walks, and get crafty at Brandon Country Park finding willow, sticks, leaves and rushes in the woods to make and keep your own creations.
The festival kicks off at Clare Country Park on Saturday 14 May with refreshments and 2 Launch Jaunts. It then runs every day until 29th May. Tickets are on sale from early March. Check out the website for more details of the programme, to sign up to regular newsletters, and to buy tickets.
Another alternative to the Suffolk Walking Festival is to research your own walks to start walking again! At this time of year we start to think about the mud drying up and getting out to walk in the beautiful English Countryside again, but where to find new and interesting walks?
Walking in Suffolk https://www.walkinginengland.co.uk/suffolk has hundreds of walks to download and print, free, it also has books of walks, details of all the walking groups in the county and much more. Whether you want to walk on your own or with a group all the information is there in one place.
John Harris (the custodian of the website) said ‘There is so much walking information on the web but it is difficult to find. Walking in Suffolk (part of the Walking in England website) has brought it together in one place so whether you are walking from home, or away on holiday, you will be able to find a walk suitable for you’.
With walks from half a mile to twelve miles plus long, and a note of suitability for pushchairs and wheelchairs, everyone can find a walk to enjoy.
So home or away, check out the websites and get walking!
Footpaths are there for the enjoyment of us all so we can benefit from the beautiful countryside around us.
Walkers are reminded to take great care when using the footpaths to shut gates behind them.
At these unusual times of lockdown it is understandable that more walkers than usual will be using the countryside for exercise. You are very welcome but should be aware that you will be likely to come across fields where livestock are grazing with their young at foot. Dogs must be kept on a lead and gates secured after you have passed through.
As a matter of courtesy you should always abide by The Countryside Code which is set out below and is a standard set of guidelines for members of the public, to ensure respect for and enjoyment of the countryside.
Are you fed-up with doing the same old walks? Walking in Suffolk www.walkinginengland.co.uk/suffolk may have what you are looking for. With hundreds of walks to download and print, free, it also has books of walks, contact details for all the walking groups in the county and much more. Whether you want to walk on your own or with a group all the information is there in one place. With walks from half a mile to twelve miles plus long, and a note of suitability for pushchairs and wheelchairs, everyone can find a walk to enjoy.
John said ‘There is so much walking information on the web but it is difficult to find. Walking in Suffolk (part of the Walking in England suite of websites (www.walkinginengland.co.uk) – one for each county in England) has brought it together in one place so whether you are walking from home, or away on holiday, you will be able to find a walk suitable for you’.
The five points of the Countryside Code are:
1. Be safe, plan ahead and follow any signs
- Take maps/guidebooks
- Be prepared for changes in weather
- Check the weather so you know what to expect
- Let someone know where you are going, how long you plan to be
- Learn signs and symbols used in the countryside
2. Leave gates and property as you find them
- Farmers may leave gates open to allow their animals to move - so leave an open gate open, and a closed gate closed
- Contact the local authority if you see a sign which may be misleading or illegal (e.g. Private -No Entry on a public footpath)
- Follow paths where crops are growing
- Use gates or stiles if possible, rather than climbing walls or fences, to avoid damage
- Don't disturb ruins or historic sites
- Don't interfere with machinery or livestock
3. Protect plants and animals and take your litter home
- Litter and leftover food spoils the beauty of the countryside
- Don't damage, destroy or remove features such as rocks, plants and trees
- Give wild animals and farm animals plenty of space as they can behave unpredictably
- Be careful not to drop matches or smouldering cigarettes.
4. Keep dogs under close control
- By law, you must control your dog so that it does not disturb or scare farm animals or wildlife
- Farmers are, by law, entitled to destroy a dog that injures or worries their animals
- Always clean up after your dog and get rid of the mess responsibly
5. Consider other people
- Respect the needs of local people
- When riding a bike or driving a vehicle, slow down for horses, walkers and livestock and give them plenty of room
- By law, cyclists must give way to walkers and horse-riders on bridleways
- Support the rural economy - for example, buy your supplies from local shops