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‘A connection with the outside is one of the greatest pleasures’ - Pensthorpe Natural Park to celebrate 30th anniversary

PUBLISHED: 16:39 15 February 2018 | UPDATED: 16:51 15 February 2018

Pensthorpe Nature Reserve. Picture: Ian Burt

Pensthorpe Nature Reserve. Picture: Ian Burt

One of Norfolk’s leading nature parks is marking a landmark anniversary by launching a new programme of events.

A Red Squirrel at Pensthorpe Nature Reserve. Picture: Ian Burt A Red Squirrel at Pensthorpe Nature Reserve. Picture: Ian Burt

Pensthorpe Natural Park has been a popular Fakenham attraction for the past 30 years, attracting nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts from across the country.

It is now set to launch a series of anniversary events ranging from expert-guided walks to tutored bird identification classes. There will even be opportunities to hear a bird chorus as the sun rises over the reserve.

Deb Jordan, owner of Pensthorpe, said: “Having a connection with the outside is one of the greatest pleasures we can have.

“There is a growing desire to spend more time disconnected from technology and immersed in nature so these events offer the perfect opportunity to re-engage with the natural world, develop knowledge, and see parts of the reserve that aren’t usually open to the public at those times of day.

Hootz House, Pensthorpe, which has won a national award for innovation and excellence. Picture Credit: Paul Brittain Hootz House, Pensthorpe, which has won a national award for innovation and excellence. Picture Credit: Paul Brittain

“Our new events not only celebrate 30 years of the evolution of this beautiful corner of Norfolk, but they champion some of the wonders of the natural world and we welcome everyone from avid wildlife enthusiasts to nature novices.”

The site was originally created as a nature reserve by conservationist Bill Makins, before being bought by Norfolk residents, Bill and Deb Jordan in 2003.

The couple developed the site and it gained in popularity in 2008 when it became the home of the BBC’s Springwatch television programme, playing host to Bill Oddie, Kate Humble, Chris Packham and a host of wildlife enthusiasts born at Pensthorpe over the last 20 years.

In 2013, the Jordans became keen to encourage children to explore the outdoors after reading reports that showed children were increasingly inclined to remain inside.

In an effort to tackle the problem they launched WildRootz, a 7,000 square foot adventure area set against natural surroundings and offering more than 30 pieces of play equipment.

They followed this up with the opening of the award winning Hootz House, an imaginatively designed play experience that focuses on weaving entertainment with education.

The unique play area has been presented by two awards from North Norfolk District Council which has recognised its unique design and sustainable features.

Visit Pensthorpe’s website for more information.

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