Monday, 8 February 2016

The Ovington Ramblers: Thompson Common

Maureen Simmons

Pingo at Thompson Common
Walking around Thompson Common is like a magical mystery tour.

Starting at the car park on the A1075, just South of Watton, we first walked through the wooded area. Here there are many ponds filled with crystal clear water from the chalk springs below; branches from old trees hanging across the ponds creating an ancient, eerie atmosphere. New bright green shoots of the water plants were plain to see – a sharp contrast to the graceful remains of last season's bullrushes. These fascinating ponds are known as “pingos” and they were created at the end of the last Ice Age, 12,000 years ago and today they provide a unique habitat for nearly 60 threatened species. 

Blue sky reflecting on fresh water mint

The pleasant walk continued on a quiet country lane, abundant with snowdrops, and then on to open fields. Here there was a large herd of sheep peacefully grazing in the late winter sunshine, playing their part in protecting this special site. We noticed they had chewed off the bark of a group of young birch trees. Were they taking advantage of the sweet birch sap rising at this time of year?

As the sun was beginning to sink down, we didn't reach the final part of the walk to Thompson Water. We decided to go there another day to (hopefully) spot an otter or two!

Meet Angela Wynne, who takes the majority of the photos for our posts.

The Ovington Ramblers are a small group of friends who have decided in their 20th year of walking together that we will try to visit all the Norfolk Wildlife Trust reserves in their 90th Anniversary year.

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