Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Branodunum's new seat

Located east of Brancaster village, and easily accessed from the Norfolk Coast path, is the site of a Roman fort called Branodunum. Whilst in Roman times, the fort's northern wall lay directly on the shore, today the site lies behind extensive areas of internationally important saltmarsh habitat and the Royal West Norfolk golf course.

The fields that are within our ownership are popular with the local community and their dogs, and we were approached by local residents Mr & Mrs Till with a request for a bench to rest tired limbs or to take in the stunning views.

Being an important archaeological site and designated as a Scheduled Ancient Monument, we can't just put a bench where we fancy and we needed to apply for consent from English Heritage. Unfortunately the bench wasn't approved so this made us think a little harder.

What if we were to pursue a tree trunk appropriate to the area, place it on the site and cut it to act as a perching place?

This revised approach was approved so we contacted our nearby neighbours NT Felbrigg Hall who unlike us have a lot of trees to see if they could help out.

Head ranger Richard Daplyn & ranger Ed sourced a piece of sweet chestnut that was felled for management reasons and not only sliced the bottom to allow it to lie flat but also took a large chainsaw bar to the top followed by a sander and achieved a finish I couldn't do myself.

Mrs Till kindly donated the value of the timber that would have otherwise been sold and transport costs, and last monday the log seat arrived, which timely happened to be their anniversary!

Warden Keith and Academy Ranger George from our team helped to get the log that weighs about three quarters of a tonne off the trailer safely with a landrover and levered it into place.

Here we all are enjoying the new seat that is sited on the upper field.

Left to right on back row: Warden Keith (Norfolk Coast NT), Ranger Ed (Felbrigg NT), Academey ranger George (Norfolk Coast NT), Head Ranger Richard (Felbrigg NT)

Front row: Mr & Mrs Till 2nd from left & far right

We'd love to receive photos of views from the bench! Please e-mail them to Victoria.Francis@nationaltrust.org.uk

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