I didn’t see a UFO, or indeed the lighthouse beams from Orford Ness lighthouse, and the only attraction in the forest is Gobblecock Cottage.
Beyond the name Gobblecock there is little of interest (the cottage owners have chosen not to display the name, but the hall next door fortunately obliges should you be using it for a waypoint).
I would have liked to add this post to the Ancient Woodlands category but the area I walked was plantation all, but for a few scraps along the way. In woodland terms there is little to learn except for any natural event that collides with unnatural which in my case was to step aside to let a Land Rover Discovery pass.
A few vehicles were collecting north of the airfield where preparations for a motorcycle rally had begun. As this is a plantation I whole-heartedly approve and see no reason they do not open the entire forest to free vehicle access. Nothing within its boundaries bares any resemblance to ancient Britain and is a haven for non-indigenous creatures that have already replaced what was once here. Not a red squirrel to be seen. Why preserve something meaningless?
Dog walkers fill this forest, along with dog-shit, which is more damaging than motorbike and off-road vehicle tracks which at least do more to cut disease than spread it.
Other parts of this public area are reserved for activities such as shooting and archery. As these are not fenced off a different set of warning signs are used to scare off would be passers-by, although the chance of being hit by a bullet or arrow are enough to keep me away and I think they should allow them to be fenced.
“Smart Water” is used to protect against theft but theft of what? Wood? Surely hunters and archers take their kills and targets home with them? A Smart Water sign only proves there must be something worth nicking then, and I think I would admire any thief who tries to strip a hunter of his gun!
On one public footpath a “Members Only” sign is displayed but members of what is not clear. I suspect it’s an old sign as following through the path revealed nothing but a path through woods.
I detect an air of greed in plantations. Yes we need wood for practically everything we do (the chair and desk I use to write this for example), but do we need “KEEP OUT” signs, barbed wire and electric fences to protect them? These are tools used to define ownership and a desire for exclusive use. Without these delineations few would venture onto the land anyway, the plantation having destroyed the lands value for ordinary people already.
Distance: 14 Miles
Elevation Range: 3 to 100 feet
Weather Check: Rendlesham, Suffolk
Map: Click here and once loaded select “Leisure” map
Route Card: Bromeswell to Gobblecock Cottage a Circular Walk in Rendlesham Forest
Download the Walkers Route Card Template for Word 2010