Saturday, 11 April 2009

The Rockland Broad gym - free membership

ROCKLAND Broad was as tranquil as I've ever seen it yesterday evening. Just me, my canoe and some great crested grebes who bobbed underwater when I got too close.

After crossing the broad, I headed down Short Dyke and into the sturdier waters of the River Yare. The idea was to paddle up as far as the deserted steam pumping station at Buckenham and then return along Fleet Dyke (pictured) to the Broad itself.

A hundred and thirty years ago I would have been spoilt for choice. Writing in the 1880s, PH Emerson wrote that “the Broad debouches into the river by seven mouths, locally called Fleet Dyke, Rockland Dyke, Black Dyke, Big Sallow Bush Dyke, Little Sallow Bush Dyke, Jerrymarsh Dyke and Short Dyke.” Today just Fleet and Short remain.

All in all, it was a good upper-body workout. An outdoor gym complete with overflying herons and the ghostly remains of wherries as added attractions.

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