THE Wherryman’s Way wasn’t impassable at Hardley Flood today, but you certainly needed decent boots and a sense of adventure. This particular stretch of the walk sees the Flood lap up on one side of a narrow path while the River Chet runs close by on the other. Occasionally time, tide and wind conspire to make them all but join. Today was one of those days. I gave up when one particular boardwalk was completely submerged. But I later met a regular dog walker who’d made it through and said he’d yet to be defeated, come rain or shine. It’s one of the many attractions of Hardley Flood: you might turn up and see glistening mud and thousands of wading birds, you might see a good impression of the North Sea. It was the wind that was doing the damage today. On the Chet, two swans gave up trying to swim against it and flew off downwind. Meanwhile on the Flood, winds gusting to 40mph were whipping the water into white crests as it overlapped its banks. As one old boy once told me, “That do flood, that Hardley Flood”.
Saturday, 14 January 2012
THE BROADS Authority says it’s keen to do its bit to maintain sections of the Wherryman’s Way – but it can’t do the lot. That’s the tenor of a letter to Loddon Parish Council over the thorny business of who should look after the footpaths. We all know the background. Loddon feels a poorly looked-after WW will put off much-needed tourists. But Norfolk County Council has less money to spend and has cut back accordingly. The county instead proposes a Norfolk Trails Partnership – encouraging business and community groups to help out too. Now the chief executive of the Broads Authority has written to Loddon giving his views:
“The Broads Authority is keen to work with the county council through the Norfolk Trails Partnership and contribute to the maintenance of the Wherryman’s Way. However the Authority has limited resources to undertake maintenance works on public rights of way and is not in a position to undertake all the maintenance required on the route. The Authority therefore taken the approach of identifying sections of path that provide access to local facilities from sites managed by the Broads Authority for future maintenance. In the Loddon area we have already committed to maintaining the easy access path which runs from our mooring at Chedgrave Common to Pitts Lane Chedgrave as this section of the Wherryman’s Way provides direct access to Loddon and Chedgrave.”
* Thanks to Loddon Parish Clerk Christine Smith for passing the letter on.