I got this close before a chap in a four by four buggy – very polite and friendly I must say – appeared and informed me that this was private land. He said I could write to Sandringham Estate office to request permission to take some pictures if I wished.
This is the river Babingley north of King’s Lynn, near Castle Rising. I have heard reports that it had dried up, but it is seemingly alive and well, as well as very beautiful and teeming with life. I saw my first mayflies of the year here today; only two, but you have to start somewhere. I saw dace, some very decent dace actually, a big trout that just showed itself before drifting under a weed wrack, so that when I looked again I was not actually sure that I’d seen it at all, and my second water vole in two days. Bloody things are like buses: it must be ten years since I last saw one. Alongside the river here there is a footpath which follows its banks for maybe three to four hundred yards and then crosses the main A149 Norfolk coast road. Going upstream, the footpath follows the river for a short distance before it disappears onto the Sandringham estate. Going downstream, along a well trodden path I wanted to take some photos of St Felix church. It’s derelict now, and the tower is completely smothered in ivy.
I’m wondering whether I could get away with fishing this stretch alonng the footpath. Then again, maybe I should write to the estate office, and ask for permission to fish it. They can only say no. I’ve seen a forum post of two people fishing what they say is the Babingley, and they caught some very nice trout up to about a pound and a half. They weren’t fishing here though, so perhaps you can get permission to fish it further upstream. Think I’ll give it a try.