Monday, 09 July 2018 00:00

Pensthorpe Toasts 30 Years of Nature Conservation

Written by  Rachael Shakespeare
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Pensthorpe Natural Park, in Fakenham, is celebrating three decades of nature conservation as the reserve toasts its 30th anniversary on 11 July 2018.

Opened in 1988 as a waterfowl and wetland park, the 700-acre estate has grown to become one of Norfolk’s largest visitor attractions, having welcomed over 3million visitors through its doors.

Founded by Bill Makins, one of Europe’s leading waterfowl breeders, who transformed the site following a multi-million tonne sand and gravel extraction, Pensthorpe has, since 2002, been under the care of Bill and Deb Jordan, Bill being the founder of Jordans Cereals. 

The reserve boasts a host of natural habitats from ancient woodland, wetlands, lakes, five gardens, play areas, wildflower meadow and farmland. Nature trails, boardwalks, bird feeding, bird-spotting and pond-dipping are just a handful of the activities set-up to encourage families to engage with nature.

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It’s also home to the Pensthorpe Conservation Trust [PCT], a charity set up in 2003, which superseded the Pensthorpe Waterfowl Trust, to create a centre of excellence in ecological restoration, promote sustainable farming and to research, breed and protect threatened species. 

The PCT counts conservation heavyweights including environmental campaigner David Bellamy and conservationist George Archibald amongst its Trustees and His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh remains its Patron. Since its launch, the PCT has spearheaded ambitious conservation projects admirable of an independent nature reserve in Norfolk, such as boosting populations of Corncrakes and Eurasian Cranes and restoring a 3km stretch of the River Wensum.

Deb Jordan, owner of Pensthorpe Natural Park, comments: “From the first moment we set foot at Pensthorpe we were entirely captivated by its uniqueness. The tranquillity, beauty and diversity of this unspoilt river valley site provided a compelling challenge to protect and conserve Pensthorpe for the enjoyment of a growing group of nature lovers.”

“In everything we do we try to communicate the beauty of the natural world and to pass on the knowledge of our dedicated team of experts in the fields of conservation, wildlife, horticulture, farming and habitats. Plus being home to thousands of plant, bird and wildlife species we are naturally a hive of activity, which is a pleasure to witness and be around. 

“We would like to thank our many visitors for their support and for donning their wellies whatever the weather to maintain a connection to the environment. Without their passion, enthusiasm and sense of adventure the past 30 years would not have been possible.”

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                                            Pensthorpe owners Bill and Deb Jordan cutting a special 30th anniversary cake

To commemorate the 30th celebrations Pensthorpe is offering 30 per cent off admission prices on Wednesday 11 July and Saturday 14 July 2018. There will also be extra walks and talks for visitors to benefit from.

For more information about Pensthorpe visit pensthorpe.com or call 01328 851465. 

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Last modified on Monday, 09 July 2018 20:12

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