Thursday, 16 August 2012

Fancy a wild weekend on the Norfolk Broads?

The remote island of Heigham Holmes, in the Norfolk Broads is gearing up for a wild weekend as it opens in a once-a-year chance to explore this hidden haven.

Visiting an island is an adventure in itself, but to have a go at snail racing or pond dipping and the chance to discover creatures of the night on a twilight walk – it’s a great way of getting more families enjoying the great outdoors and closer to nature.

This year marks 25 years of the Island being in the care of the National Trust and within that time, with the help of the tenant farmer, improved management has and meant wildlife is now thriving in this small corner of Norfolk. Marsh harriers, barn owls, bittern and crane all inhabit the reserve, along with wading birds such as lapwing and redshank. Look out for butterflies and dragonflies on your visit.

So, why not walk on the wild side on Saturday 18 August and discover more? There will be the rare chance to go off the beaten track with the Warden on a specially organised walk looking for wildlife (10.30am and 12.30pm). Alternatively, there’s the rare chance to visit in the twilight hours (8pm – 10.30pm) and enjoy a night time walk in search of owls, moths, bats and other creatures. You’ll love the antics of the barn owls on 'Barn Owl Cam'.

Then on Sunday 19 August, between 10am to 4.30pm, visit this wonderful nature reserve at your own pace. Come and learn about its special history and its importance for wildlife in the Broads. Activities include face painting, pond dipping and other children's activities including highly dramatic snail racing (2.30pm), a self guided trail, and much more!

Steve Prowse the Warden for Heigham; “We all know the importance of getting our families out and about into the fresh air, experiencing the outdoors and creating memories that will last a lifetime. So we’ve arranged a whole host of activities to engage with our younger visitors, many of which are on the National Trust’s 50 things to do before you’re 11 ¾ list. It’s a popular day out and we’re really looking forward to welcoming more families to the reserve this year.”

Light refreshments available. Access is via a swing bridge at Martham Ferry (TG 445 194). Dogs welcome on a lead please. Car parking sign posted off Ferrygate Lane, Black Street, Martham.

If you would like to book for one of the guided walks on Saturday 18 August, please e-mail<> or call 01493393450
Adults £5, children £2

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For further press information please contact Jemma Finch on 01284 747571, or e-mail<>

Notes to Editor:

1.  The Heigham Holmes Open Day is organised by the National Trust in partnership with the Broads Authority.
2.  The National Trust acquired Heigham Holmes in 1987, with grants from the National Heritage Memorial Fund, World Wide Fund for Nature and the Natural England.
3.  The National Trust, working with its tenant farmer, has successfully restored intensively managed farmland back to grassland. Water levels have been re-instated; new dykes have been created, as have pools and shallow foot drains – creating an internationally important wetland.

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