Week 2 – What are those carvings?

The first full week back at work in 2018 and I have had to think a little more carefully about my daily walking goals.

As a full time teacher I get plenty of steps in around school, but I am trying to complete my mileage ‘boots on’. During the week this means walking around the street-lit pavements of our local estates and town centre each evening, usually with my husband, but sometimes with a podcast to keep me company. (1.78, 0.9, 3.19, 3.06 and 2.2 miles)

On Saturday I went out for a quarterly lunch with a group of ladies. We spent so much time talking we only left at 4.30pm realising that if we did’t leave soon, we would get caught up in football traffic leaving the Ipswich Town vs Leeds United match! In the dark that left walking a loop into town to achieve the day’s mileage. (4.09 miles)

So that left Sunday to reach this week’s target and we used another walk from our Suffolk book of walks – this time around Hawkeden and Thurston End to the South West of Bury St Edmunds.

Despite this village only being a few miles away, and passing the road sign to it almost weekly a few years ago, I had never been there. It is a pretty village with the church in the centre of the village green – apparently this is unique in England.

We crossed a ford, walked down the edges of fields and eventually into the valley of the River Glem.

As we climbed up to the other side of the valley, we realised why this part of the county is called the ‘Suffolk Heights’. I know that it is nothing compared with other counties in England, but picking our way along the muddy track certainly raised our heartbeats!

As we reached a road junction we decided to leave out the final footpath loops due to the muddy terrain and the late afternoon. What a surprise the walk along the road to Thurston End produced!

A series of sometimes fairly rudimentary wooden carvings or sculptures fixed onto the trunks of larger trees, invisible probably amongst summer foliage. We spent the next mile or so looking at all the larger trees, several of which had wooden clothes pegs attached to them. Many of these carvings had evidently been in the trees for some time, judging by the lichen growing on them, but one appeared to be much more recent.

An internet search and our questioning of people who have lived in Suffolk much longer than we have, has so far not revealed any further details about these carvings. Can anyone help us?

We walked past Thurston End Hall and back into Hawkeden where we looked inside the church.

Although we didn’t stop in the pub in Hawkeden at the end of our walk, we have been told that the food there is excellent (and judging by the number of cars outside it must be worth driving to), so I am sure that we will return to this part of our fascinating county later on in the year to sample the menu and other refreshements there. (5.79 miles)

Total week 2 = 21.01 miles

Running total = 41.79 miles

To reach 1000 miles target = 958.21 miles