Following the temporary closure of part of a footpath on the River Frome in Wareham, walkers are being reminded of other interesting routes in the town.
The Wareham Two Rivers Walks offer two routes. The Frome to the Piddle route starts at Wareham Quay, leads up on to the Wareham Walls and down next to the River Piddle at Wareham Common. The old stiles either side of the road underpass have recently been replaced with pedestrian gates, making it much more accessible to walkers.
Wareham Walls were built in Saxon times to defend Wareham from the Vikings. The Walls are found on three sides of the town, with the River Frome acting as the fourth wall. The information boards alongside the Walls offer tales of the town’s fascinating and sometimes gruesome past.
You will find a variety of meadow and fen plants such as ragged robin and marsh marigold on Wareham Common. You may also find cattle or ponies grazing and in the summer the riverside is alive with house martins and swifts swooping to catch insects hovering over the river.
The second route, ‘Pigs and Piddle’ is east of the town. It follows the River Piddle to Swineham and then back along Bestwall Road.
Alison Turnock, Natural Heritage and Tourism Manager for Purbeck District Council, said: “Whether you enjoy the countryside, local history or both, the Two Rivers Walks are a great way to explore the area and learn something new along the way. Taking between 1.5 and 4 hours, the walks are a lovely way to experience Wareham.”
The temporary part-closure of ‘footpath 22’ on the north side of the River Frome is in operation until 1 September to enable the Environment Agency to re-profile the river bank after the 2014 floods. The path is closed from behind Lady St Mary churchyard for 1,200 metres towards Swineham Point.
The new gates were installed as part of a project between Andy Baggs (Hayward of Wareham Common); The Manor of Wareham; Purbeck District Council; and Dorset County Council.
View The Wareham Two Rivers Walks at www.dorsetforyou.com/396520 or purchase a copy of the route leaflet from Discover Purbeck Information Centre, the Library, South Street, Wareham. You can also obtain information at the Wareham Walls from the Information Centre.
Copies of the diversion map can be viewed at Purbeck District Council offices, Discover Purbeck Information Centre at Wareham Library or online: www.dorsetforyou.com/412571