Sunday, July 24, 2005

24th July West Stow & the Brecks


9.30 am 9.5 miles in 1 hour 20 mins.

Year to date mileage 646 miles , Month to date 110 miles. Average miles per week for this year is now 22 and average monthly mileage is now 96.

Weather overcast threatening rain but managed to avoid it on my run.

Course: West Stow Country Park is about 4 miles from Bury St Edmunds on the Mildenhall Road. Follow the way marked signs for the Lark Valley Pathway. This takes you past the reconstructed Anglo Saxon Village around the lake and then along by the River Lark. Parts of the Lark Valley Pathway are in fact better known as the Icknield way.

The Icknield Way is one of the oldest roads in Britain said to be over 4,000 years old. It is one of the few long-distance trackways to have existed before the Romans occupied the country. It stretches from Ivinghoe Beacon in Buckinghamshire to Knettishall Heath in Norfolk approx 128 miles . If you fancy walking it it can be done in about 7 days more details see this link. - 7k

I ran out for 40 minutes into a landscape that is known as the Brecklands. This is an area of Scottish pine trees and sandy heathlands. Surprisingly East Anglia does have some areas of wilderness. The picture top right shows the path I followed which is a very open heathland. I saw nobody on this run. The only sounds were the noise of grass hoppers and the wind through the trees. The Brecklands are a specially protected area due to the unique landscape which provides a home to a number of rare birds and wildflowers.

The one thing that isn't rare in the brecks is Rabbits I saw some large rabbit warrens on this run. Rabbits were introduced apparently to Britain after the Romans arrived in 43AD. In the early days rabbit farming was highly protected by landowners because of their meat and fur. In 1813, one rabbit poacher was sentenced to seven years transportation to Australia for stealing a single rabbit. I gave up counting rabbits today after a hundred or so!

Anglo Saxon Village at West Stow

Stow means special place. West Stow Anglo-Saxon Village lets you explore the way our ancestors lived. The early Anglo-Saxon village (c.420-650AD) has been carefully reconstructed where it was excavated. During this time East Anglia rose to become the Dominant kingdom of England, under King Redwald. - 31k This site is well woth a visit 'Angelcynn - At West Stow Anglo-Saxon Village'

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