THIS post stretches the definition of Riverside Norwich a bit, but hey the walk started next to the River Tas near Lakenham, so I’m claiming it. It was our first time on the long distance walk known as the Boudicca Way. You might have heard that it’s had a facelift recently with smart new signs installed throughout the 36 mile route between Diss and Norwich. Give walkers a nudge in the right direction, goes the plan, and local businesses will benefit too. We started off on White Horse Lane at the back end of Trowse and did a circular walk via Caistor St Edmund. Initially it was dull. A brief dalliance with the Tas at a bridge near Lakenham and then the tedium of getting over and beyond the noisy southern bypass. But once you step out on to a footpath from Arminghall Lane everything changes. Rolling hills and ancient oaks abound and the din from the bypass subsides to a gentle hum. Norwich might be just over there, but there’s plenty of nature right here. I counted three green woodpeckers and three different species of butterfly within the first ten minutes. A short diversion takes you to the village (hamlet?) of Arminghall, with its smart flint church and timeless PYO hut complete with ancient scales (pictured right.)Then you head down towards Caistor Lane and land owned by High Ash Farm. Run by Chris Skinner (of Radio Norfolk fame) this is the farm where nature comes first. “At High Ash, no animal or bird is discriminated against and nature can run its uninterrupted course,” is how they put it on the website. Us walkers are looked after too. Broad grassy swards for footpaths (see main picture above) , next to “pollen nectar verges” for flowers and endangered species of bumblebee. At this time of year that meant meadows bursting and blooming with every shade of wild flower. From Caistor Hall we returned to Trowse by road, (no pavement, not particularly recommended) but the Boudicca Way continues south to Shotesham. If the rest is as good as this aperitif, we’ll be very happy.