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Tour of The Boundary

Map Route: Starts at Lay-by at DovesHill, Badley on the B1113, F/Path SW to Ash Covert, * S to Gibbons Farm along the road then N to Wellfield Covert (and Lady Well)*, W past Lower Badley Wood, NW to Moats Tye, NE to the B1113, SE along the Tow Path to Raven's Bridge, SW back onto the B1113 then NW back to the start. The route virtually follows the Badley border except for the part between the * * and the part just before Ravens Bridge to Badley Bridge

From the layby go down the hill to the FP sign on your right across the road opposite Bridge Farm buildings, follow this path along the valley floor, the River Bat is to your left and is the southern boundary, until you come to a footbidge (1 mile) continue across to the next hedge, then turn left, then over the footbridge which takes you across the Bat , thro' the next hedge and into Battisford, the border between Battisford and Barking is just to your left but we turn right, go between the woods then continue straight (not marked), head towards the right of the two pylons, until under the first power line

At this point you should see, half-right, a small wood across the river, this is where you will be later but there is no public footpath across, so to get there we have a 1 1/2 mile 'diversion'. The path then curves left and goes left of the next pylon then continue straight ahead with the river on your right, head in the direction to take you along the right hand side of Gibbons Farm, then onto the road, continue along the road to the next right turn, (the map shows a FP from Gibbons Farm going right but I have yet to find it), over a bridge till you join a footpath, go right to take you back in the parallel direction that you just came from, but now on the other side of the river. Follow this path (3/4 mile), with the hedge to your left, to the wood, Wellfield Covert and Lady Well, then go left alongside the wood - stream - ditch, this is where we rejoin the Badley border which is on your right.

In 3/4 mile where the FP crosses the stream, footbridge, at the junction of a path coming in from the left, continue to follow it to the next hedge, the OS maps shows the path going thro' the hedge, then turn right up the hill, this is the western boundary, to the FP junction at the top of hill, we go right here. At this point we are at the NW corner of Badley, its highest point, the houses etc. about here are all in Moats Tye. As I said before, turn right, continue straight on through what was once a lane with hedges on both sides past Badley Cottage on your right to Badley Lane, then left along the lane, then after passing Penny Plot go a little further on to turn right onto FP, continue to follow FP, with out turning off (3/4 mile), you go past two small woods on your right, then one on your left, until you come round to the Electricity Board's Sub Station, go left over the stile then down with the hedge on your right to go down the steps on to the B1113.

Cross the road and go left along the path, turn right down the access road to Munton & Fisons then when over the river bridge turn right to go down the bank to the river towpath then with the river on your right carry on (2 mile in total), past the two cottages across the river, under the railway, past Badley Mill on your right

At this point you can take a short cut back to the start point. Go over the river bridge follow the fp sign which takes you round to the right over the stream. The stream was originally the River Gipping and is the Badley boundary, it was diverted when the lock was built to make the river a navigation canal. There was a dispute over the part of the footpath between the two footbridges, at a Public Inquiry the Minister has ruled that there is a footpath. The farmer has now decided [January '02) to partially accept the Inspector's ruling and has finally allowed the County Council to erect signs and stiles etc. to enable the public to use this part of the footpath again, but there is still some ongoing problems. The Council, in my opinion, are trying to be nice to the owners who do not want any footpaths over their land at any price despite the results of the Public Inquiry, it's a long story. When you meet the track, turn left (do NOT go into the farm yard) go under the railway and up to the B1113 at Roots 'n Shoots then turn left along the road back to the start point.

Continuing along the river for over a mile there is little to comment on except to enjoy the solitude of the river meandering its way along.

As you approach the built up area of Needham Market about 100 yds before you get to the iron footbridge at Ravens Farm you will see a small river flowing in under an old willow tree on your right, this is where the Bat that you walked along earlier flows into the Gipping and is the SE corner of Badley and its lowest point.

At Ravens Bridge turn right over the bridge, continue up to and over the railway, upto the road, turn right walk along the path, crossing the bridge over the Bat and once more into Badley, until you get back to the start point.

Total distance 8 1/2 miles.

Last update 24th October 2003

This is compiled from memory of a previous walk and may need to be updated ---- Maurice

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