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  • Alick Burt

A Short Circuit near Woodwalton Fen.

Hello Folks

I find myself at home for a few weeks laid up with Pericarditis (an inflammation of the lining of the heart probably caused by a virus.)This is a bad thing from many points of view but at least whilst there isn’t much I can do about it aside from resting and taking lots of brufen tablets it does give me time to catch up on a blog or two.

This trip finds Andrew and I paddling a small circular route near Woodwalton fen.

We had done a part of the trip before with the same aim but on the previous visit when we got to our portage point from one ditch to another we found the second ditch impassable due to low water levels.

We began near the nature reserve scrambling down a grassy bank to an easy put in and then we were off following a long straight stretch of water.

Landmarks are few on this sort of paddle and many would say why do you do it. After all, the route is virtually all straight lines with few overhanging trees or particularly interesting features.I suppose its just the thought of paddling somewhere different where few others have been or maybe its the pull of just wanting to be in my boat out in the fresh air whatever it is I still don’t get tired of it even if the only bridge to photograph is a fairly ugly concrete one!

After following swans along our route we reached a bend (quite a novelty in these parts)

and hauled out as this was our transfer point and it was also near enough lunchtime.

The swans backtracked ,no doubt they were glad that we had got out of their way.

We had been paddling against a bit of a breeze but were due to change direction and the drain we were due to paddle in was also quite sheltered but we took the opportunity to have lunch before continueing our trip.

This next part of our paddle was less windy but unfortunately the water was on the shallow side and silly me I had only got deep water paddle blades with me so progress was slow. To add to this it was occasionally weedy.

After a while we came upon a landmark in the form of this small building.

You might think its not very grand or of much interest but I often speculate about its usage and those who may have used it. What was the stove for on the side? It couldn’t have provided a lot of heat being outside the building!

Our next landmark was equally fascinating.It looked like the base of a tower or a fortification but my guess is that it is the roundhouse of an old post mill that was possibly a wind pump for draining the fen before diesel pumps took over.

It wasn’t long before we turned a corner and we were back on the stretch we had started on approaching our put in from a point behind where we started.

A small trip but not completely lacking in features.

Happy Paddling!


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