Off the beaten track

Although this site is primarily interested in public footpaths and bridleways, it should be noted that it is possible to walk across some land in Beachamwell without having to use specific rights of way. The Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 (CROW Act) gives a public right of access to land mapped as ‘open country’ (mountain, moor, heath and down) or registered common land. These areas are known as ‘open access land’.

Open access land is shown on Ordnance Survey maps – on the Explorer Series 1:25000 scale maps it is marked with a pale orange border, and woodland areas are tinted yellow.

Access land in woodland areas is tinted yellow

Access land in woodland areas is tinted yellow

However for accurate and up-to-date information on access land visit the Natural England website at:
www.openaccess.naturalengland.org.uk/wps/portal/oasys/maps/MapSearch/

This map shows open access land (coloured pink) in the parish of Beachamwell (extending into Swaffham in the extreme north-west).
 The area is nearly all pine plantation, criss-crossed by forest rides and tracks. One exception is Narford Wood – a small oasis of large oaks, marked on the map in darker red.

Narford Wood

Narford Wood

The age of these oaks indicates that this woodland pre-dates the planting of Thetford Forest in the 1920s. (Forestry Commission records show that they bought land from the Beachamwell Estate in 1924 at a time when they were also buying up large parcels of land from other landowners in the area.) Today Narford Wood makes a pleasant objective for a wander off the beaten track.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *