A pretty walk around Banham, Norfolk

Banham church

Banham church - Credit: Archant

This month we’re with Norfolk Ramblers for an amble around Banham

Crown copyright 2018 Ordnance Survey. Media 003/18

Crown copyright 2018 Ordnance Survey. Media 003/18 - Credit: Archant

1. With the church behind you turn left, taking the path beside the Guildhall. Follow the path to the junction, turn left going along the boardwalk over two bridges to a small copse. Over a third bridge to Blackslough Lane turn left to the end of the lane. Take the footpath opposite, following the path beside the building. At the end of the field turn left at a metal post then right, then left again to follow the field edge track for a distance to New Lane. Turn left and follow the lane, passing the factory. At the junction turn right and follow the road round the corner ignoring the path to the right.

2. Just before the next corner take the concrete track signed for a nursery school. Follow the track around the school, taking the track to the left, passing Coppins farm. Follow the track round the right-hand corner, ignore the finger post and carry straight on to the road. Turn right, follow the road to a finger post on the left, follow the edge of the lawn to an enclosed path then follow the field edge to the road. Turn right; this will bring you to Kenninghall Road opposite Banham Zoo.

3. If you are doing the short walk turn left, then left down the track after Westgate House. At the junction of paths turn right; ignoring the path to the right you come to Church Lane which will return you to the start. For the longer walk turn right past the front of the zoo; after about 400 metres take Park Common Lane and just before the farm buildings turn left, following a wide field edge path. It carries on with a small wood on the left. Follow to a fingerpost, cross the bridge, follow the path with a ditch to the left. Ignoring the path turning right at the marker post, turn left, following the field edge path to Wood Lane. Cross, taking the path with the hedge on your right. Follow this down to the ditch, turn left then right across the bridge taking the distinct path across the field to the back of the houses. Turn right, following the path round the back of the houses, cross Winfarthing Road, ignoring paths off to your left. You will eventually come out on Heath Road; turn left this will bring you back to the village green and the start.

A. This important path for the village had been poorly maintained for many years but with funding from Norfolk Area Ramblers and a contribution from Banham Parish Counci,l the dense brambles have been cleared the bridges replaced with wider structures. The board walk has been replaced and this has taken over 100 hours of volunteer work to complete. With the wider bridges it is possible to now get our motorised cutter in to keep this path clear.

B. Banham Zoo is this year celebrating 50 years of wildlife conservation the zoo is an award-winning family attraction with over 2,000 animals from around the world set in 50 acres of beautiful parkland and gardens. In 2013 Banham Zoo, along with sister park Africa Alive! near Lowestoft, Suffolk, became part of the Zoological Society of East Anglia (ZSEA). By becoming a registered charity this has enabled the parks to secure their long-term futures, with the primary aims to the advancement of education, zoology, animal welfare, environmental protection and continue with the important work undertaken for wildlife conservation across the world.

C. Here you have views across the fields to the south to a house surrounded by trees which is all that remains of Kenninghall Place, once the seat of the Dukes of Norfolk from where Mary Tudor rode to London to claim the throne on hearing of the death of her father Henry VIII. Refreshments are available opposite the zoo at the delicatessen. u

Ordnance Survey maps are available from all good booksellers and outdoor stores or visit our online shop www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/al

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