Just wild about the Wensum

Thousands of wildlife-lovers flocked to Pensthorpe Nature Reserve on Saturday for a special event celebrating the natural heritage of the Wensum valley.

Thousands of wildlife-lovers flocked to Pensthorpe Nature Reserve on Saturday for a special event celebrating the natural heritage of the Wensum valley.

The third annual Wild about the Wensum day at the reserve featured stalls from conservation groups, charities and local authorities.

There were also bird identification sessions, guided walks and nature quizzes centred on the park's bird population and the fish, snails, otters and dragonflies of the river, designated a Special Area of Conservation.

Bill Jordan, who co-owns the reserve with his wife Deb, said the crowd was bigger than the 4,000 who turned out last year.


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And the star attraction was CBeebies TV character Jelly, who opened the event and answered questions about nature from a gaggle of excited young fans.

Mr Jordan said: “It has been a very good day. The numbers are well up on last year and I think a lot of the credit for that goes to Jelly, who was unbelievably popular. We have had lots of schools involved and that has given us a very young orientation this year.”

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The event included 30 stands from wildlife and conservation groups, both local and national, including Wensum Valley Birdwatchers, the Hawk and Owl Trust and the British Trust for Ornithology.

All the proceeds from the day's event will be used to support barn owls - one of the species inhabiting the reserve.

“All the stand-holders represent the wildlife in the Wensum, of which we are a fair part,” said Mr Jordan. “Depending on how much money we raise we are going to be doing work to make habitats better for barn owls around the reserve.”

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