Gedney Drove End Long Walk
Gedney Drove End
Enjoy a circular walk along the old and new sea banks with stunning views of The Wash.
Gedney Drove End
Grid reference TF 461 294
These walks use the old and new sea banks which were built to claim valuable land from the sea and act as sea defences. There are excellent views of The Wash and the area is renowned for its bird and seal populations. There is also a nearby RAF weapons range which is used throughout the year and can provide spectacular but noisy fly pasts.
The extensive saltmarsh has a unique flora and is valuable for birds such as redshank, wigeon, pintail, teal and oystercatchers. The marsh can be very dangerous and it is advisable to stay on the footpaths at all times.
The flat circular island out to sea is in fact man made and built in 1972 as an experimental reservoir for storing fresh water. Now it is home to a range of seabirds, and beyond is the Norfolk coast line.
In the summer months look out for the cattle grazing the marshes, they help maintain the saltmarsh habitat so it is attractive to a variety of birds throughout the year.
This stretch of the River Nene was opened in 1831 to provide a new deep outfall which is still used today by cargo vessels. The two lighthouses, which were built in 1826, mark the line of the old sea bank. The east bank lighthouse was once the home of Sir Peter Scott, naturalist, painter and founder of the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust.
The oystercatcher is a distinctive wading bird. With its black and white plumage, redpink legs and long orange bill it is easy to spot! It feeds on cockles and mussels and uses its bill to make a hole in the shell. It has a loud shrill ‘kleepkleep’ call and has a very noisy courtship display.
- 1Leave the car park and turn left.
- 2Turn left along the public footpath at the side of Park View bungalow, cross the drain and climb up onto the old sea bank.
- 3Turn right and walk along the bank to the road.
- 4Turn left along the road to a T - junction.
- 5Walk straight across and follow the footpath to the new sea bank.
- 6Climb the bank and at the top turn right and follow the path along the top of the bank. If you look to your left you will see the RAF Holbeach weapons range.
- 7For the longer walk continue along the sea bank for approximately 1.5 miles (2.5 kilometres).
- 8Follow the path onto the bank of the River Nene and take the first footpath signed on the right along the edge of a large drain to the road.
- 9Turn right and follow the road until it bends sharply to the left.
- 10Take the public footpath which continues in the same direction along a stone track. You are now walking on the old sea bank. Continue until you come to the road.
- 11Turn right and follow the road until it bends sharply to the left.
- 12Take the public footpath which continues in the same direction along a field edge next to a drain. Again you are walking along the old sea bank. Follow the path to the road.
- 13Turn left along the road into the village.
- 14At the road turn right and follow this road back to the Village Hall and car park.
This walk uses field paths, sea banks and quiet roads. There are stiles and you may encounter livestock.