PHOTO ESSAY: A walk along the Pingo Trail

The prehistoic Pingo trail near Watton

The prehistoic Pingo trail near Watton - Credit: Sonya Duncan

Just off the busy Thetford to Watton road is an inauspicious layby from where you are transported back millions of years to the ice age.

The prehistoic Pingo trail near Watton

The prehistoic Pingo trail near Watton - Credit: Sonya Duncan

The pingo trail is a pathway to the past as walkers wind their way through woodland trails that bend around 300 ancient ponds some of which thought to be at least 10,000 years old, they are known as Pingos.

The prehistoic Pingo trail near Watton

The prehistoic Pingo trail near Watton - Credit: Sonya Duncan

The prehistoic Pingo trail near Watton

The prehistoic Pingo trail near Watton - Credit: Sonya Duncan

The pingos were formed As the ice age glaciers retreated, they left hard masses of ice which were covered in soil. As the climate became warmer and the ice melted away, the soil on top formed depressions, leaving a hole filled with water – Pingos.

The prehistoic Pingo trail near Watton

The prehistoic Pingo trail near Watton - Credit: Sonya Duncan

The prehistoic Pingo trail near Watton

The prehistoic Pingo trail near Watton - Credit: Sonya Duncan

The official trail takes in 8 miles of woods and heathland incorporating the manmade Thompson Water and part of Peddars Way. The atmospheric ponds can be found all along the trail some hidden in ancient tree root systems and some out in the open. This area is a magnet for wildlife and hundreds of species of plants.

The prehistoic Pingo trail near Watton

The prehistoic Pingo trail near Watton - Credit: Sonya Duncan

The prehistoic Pingo trail near Watton

The prehistoic Pingo trail near Watton - Credit: Sonya Duncan

No matter what time of year though, this internationally and ecologically important site is a primeval step back in time.

The prehistoic Pingo trail near Watton

The prehistoic Pingo trail near Watton - Credit: Sonya Duncan

The prehistoic Pingo trail near Watton

The prehistoic Pingo trail near Watton - Credit: Sonya Duncan

The prehistoic Pingo trail near Watton

The prehistoic Pingo trail near Watton - Credit: Sonya Duncan

The prehistoic Pingo trail near Watton

The prehistoic Pingo trail near Watton - Credit: Sonya Duncan


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