Monday, 20 May 2019 00:00

Pensthorpe Bird and Wildlife Fair celebrates Norfolk as a birding and wildlife hotspot

Written by  Danielle Sparks
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Images from Steve Adams Images from Steve Adams

The first Pensthorpe Bird and Wildlife Fair was held on Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 May 2019 at Pensthorpe Natural Park, near Fakenham, and attracted around 2,500 visitors. 

Celebrating Norfolk as the birdwatching capital of the UK, visitors were treated to talks, guided walks, demonstrations, book signings and around 50 exhibitors being in attendance.

Highlights included guest appearances from nature and wildlife experts including Simon King OBE, known for his work on Big Cat Diary and Springwatch, and Mike Dilger, The One Show wildlife reporter and presenter on Nature’s Babies.

Simon King OBE said: “The natural world is a constant source of inspiration and Norfolk is prolific as being the most amazing county for birdwatching and nature as it is buzzing with wildlife. Pensthorpe really is the hub for that and May is a busy time for migrating species so the Fair was held at the perfect time of year. I’ve enjoyed a great weekend celebrating nature in the county.”

Mike Dilger said: “What an amazing event! I’ve absolutely loved meeting everyone and learning about the incredible work that Pensthorpe Conservation Trust is doing. I’ve been to Pensthorpe before filming the Operation Turtle Dove project and Norfolk is just an amazing county for birds and wildlife, and this event is great as it is shouting about the nature and wildlife it attracts. How lucky Norfolk is to have this event on its doorstep and I hope that it returns here every year.”

Bill Oddie OBE, who has presented TV programmes including Springwatch and Autumnwatch, also entertained the crowds on both days with a talk on his fascinating career.

The Norfolk Wildlife Trust (NWT) was the charity beneficiary of the event and a percentage of the proceeds will go to enhancing and protecting local wetland areas in the Broads National Park. This figure will be announced shortly.

Chief Executive of Norfolk Wildlife Trust, Pamela Abbott said: “It was fabulous to see so many people enjoying the wonderful array of talks and exhibitions in the wildlife-rich setting of Pensthorpe Natural Park. We are delighted to be the charity beneficiary of the Pensthorpe Bird and Wildlife Fair and the funds raised will make a valuable contribution to the management of Norfolk Wildlife Trust globally significant wetlands.” 

NWT Wildlife Evangelist, Nick Acheson, who spoke at the event and led guided walks said: “It was a joy to be part of the first Pensthorpe Bird and Wildlife Fair. At a time when wildlife and the environment are under terrible strain, it is hugely heartening to see so many good people and organisations sharing the experience they’ve gained protecting nature and helping people build a relationship with the wild. I can’t wait to attend the event in 2020.”

Organisers have announced that the Fair will return on Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 May 2020.

Bill Jordan, owner of Pensthorpe Natural Park said: “This was the first ever Pensthorpe Bird and Wildlife Fair and we have had great feedback from visitors over the weekend. Our aim

was to celebrate Norfolk as the birdwatching capital of Britain, showcase all the extraordinary species we attract here and talk about conservation issues, and I think that we have done just that. Simon King OBE, Mike Dilger and Bill Oddie OBE had packed talks over the weekend, with visitors spilling out of the marquee to hear them.

“We also had speakers like Nick Acheson and Joe Harkness in attendance, plus special habitat walks, butterfly walks, pond dipping sessions and bird identification sessions. What was also lovely to see was how it attracted experienced wildlife enthusiasts, as well as people who just enjoy feeding their garden birds and families who want their children to be inspired and learn about some of the amazing wildlife that calls Norfolk home.

“I would like to thank everyone who worked so hard in making this event a success and this year’s sponsors Cley Spy, Norfolk Cottages and WildSounds & Books. We hope that this event will become a permanent fixture on the calendar and are pleased to announce that it will return to Pensthorpe on Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 May 2020.”

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

Mike_Dilger_guided_walk_-_credit_Steve_Adams.jpg

 

Last modified on Thursday, 30 May 2019 18:32

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