St Mary's Church, Beachamwell

St Mary’s Church, Beachamwell

Beachamwell is a small rural village in south-west Norfolk a few miles from the market town of Swaffham. The surrounding landscape is mostly dry and sandy Breckland, although the close proximity to the damper Fens is shown by the existence of Beachamwell Fen and Shingham Fen. The parish is fortunate in having a relatively large network of footpaths, bridleways and restricted byways which provide a variety of environments to walk in.

Wednesday Walkers

On the first Wednesday of every month at 10am a walks sets out from Beachamwell Memorial Village Hall on The Green. This is open to all. It usually last no more than a couple of hours and is a relaxing and friendly way to enjoy the countryside and meet people.

Wednesday Walkers pause for a break

Wednesday Walkers (or Wednesday Talkers?)

Connecting Threads

Beachamwell was one of four Norfolk villages chosen by CPRE Norfolk to take part in a pilot project to see how local people could learn about and promote their local footpaths and rights of way. The venture was called Connecting Threads: Exploring our Footpaths. It lasted a year and Beachamwell celebrated the culmination with a Walking Weekend in April 2014. The weekend comprised a series of walks and events including an exhibition in the village hall showcasing the results of our research, field study and oral history. The displays included videos, a photographic exhibition and the Connecting Threads quilt stitched by a group of local needleworkers.

Working on the Connecting Threads quilt

Working on the Connecting Threads quilt

Footpath Map Leaflet

The other major achievement was the production of a foldout leaflet showing the network of Beachamwell footpaths. This featured a map drawn and illustrated by local artist Mark Powell. An initial print run of 1,000 copies was quickly distributed, and there have been two further reprints.

To read more about the Connecting Threads project in Beachamwell, and to see a copy of Mark’s map, visit the Connecting Threads website.