It is the Autumnal silence which hits you on an early morning walk from Brampton to Oxnead. Silence punctuated only by occasional sharp bursts of song – a Robin, the screech of a Jay and the repetitive fluting of a Nuthatch in the Keeper’s Wood. Then there were Kingfishers – a pair chasing and calling upstream to the mill pool, another single bird calling from a perch above the sluice. It has been a good year for Kingfisher numbers so far, with numbers increased from a successful breeding season.

So, a nor-easterly wind brings with it a return of the dry cold that had temporarily moved away. This wind seems to cause more grumblings than any other prevailing direction. But in Brampton there are hidden benefits. Not only a crystal clear night sky but the return of that very rare commodity, silence.

Real silence is rarely encountered in Norfolk. There may be times in the depths of Thetford Forest . or as I found recently, in the late evening inside Norwich Cathedral, but in truth the all-pervading background hum of traffic or aircraft is always there. Or so it seems.

In Brampton the background hum of traffic sneaks over the railway line and invades the village form the south and west. The sound of tyres on the Aylsham bypass itself appears to get louder every year. But give us a good settled north- east airstream from the coast and we seem to get close to silence or at least to a human scale.

This morning the railway cutting was wreathed in silence. The shuffling of a rabbit broke the atmosphere, as did the flap of a Jay’s wings. Silence allows such concentration. The last shoot of the season brought a refreshing human scale to the sound-scape; calls and shouts and the barks of gundogs drifted on the breeze in much the same way as the noise of field workers must have done when the village was their world.