Circular Walks in OWLP area – part 2 : Manea

Series of circular walks and ridesLogos

So here it is, the second instalment of the series of circular walks and rides! Following on from Mark’s excellent first blog of the series all about a circular walk in Mepal, this second entry in the series looks at a walk which starts and finishes in Manea.

Manea

Manea is a village which is found at about the half way point along the Landscape Partnership area, and it is a place with a surprising amount of history; for example Charles I had designs to build a new Capital City here (although, it has to be said, it was never built!). Welches Dam, just outside Manea, was also host to another Fenland oddity: The Floating Church, which used to travel the Fenland waterways offering religious services to local communities. It was moored at Welches Dam for two years from 1904. And then there are the fantastic stories surrounding the 19th century utopian Manea Colony.

The Walk

As always with Fenland walks, this one gives you the opportunity to experience the traditional Fen landscape with its massive skies and flat horizons.

Distance 6.3 miles (10.1km); Minimum time 3hrs; Ascent/gradient Negligible; Level of difficulty Medium; Paths Lanes and hard farm tracks; Landscape Wide, flat fields separated by ditches and drainage channels; Suggested map aqua3 OS Explorer 228 March & Ely. (All information and detailed description of the walk can be found on the AA Website from which the map below is taken).

As an alternative at point 3 on the map, you can turn left to take you along the route of the former light railway used to transport earthwork reinforcements to the flood banks of the Old Bedford River. All the details of this walk can be found by following this link to the AA website.

Alternatives

There are several footpaths in and around Manea (as you can see on the map below) so it is quite possible to find your own circular walk. Be warned though, some footpaths marked on the map may be closed for part of the year (during the bird breeding season),

Manea map showing the position of Interpretation Panels.

Manea map showing the position of Interpretation Panels. Source: Cambridgeshire County Council Rural Group

although you should always be able to find an alternative route if you find you are confronted by a shut gate!

A copy of this map is available to download from here.

This map also has marked on it the position of some interpretation panels which will be installed as part of the Manea Community Conservation Project, which is one of the projects of this Landscape Partnership Scheme. (You can see all the partners and link through to their websites on the OWLP Partnership page.) These interpretation panels have been deliberately placed along the route that is taken by the local children between the school and The Pit.

I hope that this blog will inspire some people to take the opportunity to visit Manea and take a stroll through its local countryside. It’s certainly inspired me – keep an eye out for updates to this post with pictures from my trip.

Circular Walks in OWLP area – part 1 : Mepal

LogosOne of the things that came out clearly out of the community consultations we held last year in the parishes of the Ouse Washes Landscape Partnership scheme area was that people would like more information about possible walks in their area.

Access to circular routes: the problem identified

People are especially after circular routes which they can follow, starting from their own village. Although a lack of joined-up rights of way in many parts of the OWLP area has been identified, we have also noticed that part of the problem seems to be the lack of access to the information about existing opportunities to access the countryside. Where this information is available, people also do not always know about its existence: often, existing walking and cycling routes are only available in paper versions or are available online but people are not necessarily aware of their existence.

Our solution

So, we are going to do something about this: over the next months, we aim to publish a series of blog posts advertising existing opportunities for exploring the countryside, be it for walking, cycling, horse-riding, canoeing or boating.

New Picture (21)

Mepal’s circular walk. Source – http://www.visitcambridge.org/dbimgs/MepalWay(1).pdf

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The Three Pickerels Public house along the New Bedford River. Source: http://www.visitcambridge.org/dbimgs/MepalWay(1).pdf

Mepal circular walk: the Ouse Washes, Wildlife and the Gault Hole

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Front page of the Mepal Walk leaflet. Source: http://www.visitcambridge.org/dbimgs/MepalWay(1).pdf

 

A very good example is the route published for a tour through and around the village of Mepal. Even though this leaflet has been available for over a year and hard copies have been distributed in Mepal, not many people know of this very good route. For instance, when I showed several Sutton residents the leaflet nobody had seen it before, even though the route passes very close to the Sutton-Mepal parish boundary.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The leaflet with the Mepal walk can be downloaded here

This leaflet, by the way, together with several other routes published for Cambridgeshire, was funded through a grant distributed through the previous LEADER programme (see previous blog post).

 

Do you know of any good walks in the area?

I have started this series of blog posts to showcase the existing walks and cycle rides in the area – by all means pass on any information to me about other sources of walks or rides, whether published online or not. We are keen to let more people know about the options and get you out and about in this very special landscape!

 

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