This wonderful publication has been produced to acknowledge and celebrate Bungay’s wildlife and the life and love of Jasmine, sister and wild-life enthusiast who sadly died in 2012. Jasmine’s brothers Chris and Terry Reeve, both residents of Bungay, led the nature walk for around Bungay’s local footpaths and countryside. Keen to show us the natural environment as if through the eyes of their sister.
First stop at Bungay castle where a small wild flower garden has been planted in memory of Jasmine. In this mid-September morning, no flowers were in bloom, but the plant list showed it would be full of colour and insect life in early summer. Chris read the poem The Song of the White Jasmine Fairy by Cicely Mary Barker.
In the heat of summer days
With sunshine all ablaze,
Here, here are cool green bowers,
Starry with Jasmine flowers;
Sweet-scented, like a dream
Of Fairyland they seem.
And when the long hot day
At length has worn away,
And twilight deepens, till
The darkness comes – then, still,
The glimmering Jasmine white
Gives fragrance to the night.
Our group of 20 walked through the water meadows on a footpath along the side of the river Waveney between Bungay and Earsham. We stopped frequently on the way to examine points of interest in nature that Jasmine had enjoyed in her lifetime: willow trees grown for making cricket bats; common alder trees that like their roots in water; common fleabane in flower; playing grandmother jump-out-of-bed by pinching the base of flowering convolvulus with its brilliant white, trumpet shaped flower.
As we approached Earsham besides a field, a herd of huge beautiful cows began to walk besides us, as if accompanying us. We learned from their owner, farmer and photographer Frances Crickmore, that this herd had been imported from France when they decided to diversify their farming products to include cheese. This particular breed is known for their rich milk, and from it the Crickmore’s developed the now famous Bigot Brie cheese. The cows followed us along the footpath until we crossed over the river via a wooden bridge. Here we were joined by Frances Crickmore who introduced herself, told us about the farm and the land around us. She told us we could purchase the cheese in its signature circular wood box from a vending machine by the farm.
At the end of the walk we thanked Chris and Terry for an interesting and enjoyable afternoon. We had all learned about their sister and shared her love of this area.