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Norfolk’s own Blue Planet - some of the wonders closer to home

PUBLISHED: 13:54 30 October 2017 | UPDATED: 13:54 30 October 2017

Geese fly in at Snettisham. Picture: Matthew Usher

Geese fly in at Snettisham. Picture: Matthew Usher

Archant © 2010

Blue Planet shows us some of the wonders that lie beneath the waves around the world.

A sperm whale is stranded on Hunstanton Beach near the cliffs. Picture: Matthew Usher.A sperm whale is stranded on Hunstanton Beach near the cliffs. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Closer to home, there are equally amazing sights and natural dramas played out around East Anglia’s shores. Will David Attenborough enourage more to seek them out?

Pete Waters, excecutive director of Visit East Anglia, said: “The National Coastal Tourism Academy says young people aren’t going to the coast any more so if there’s a way of attracting more people to the coast it can only help our visitor economy.”
Thousands upon thousands of pink footed geese put on one of the UK’s most incredible wildlife spectaculars as they fly inland in V-shaped formations from their roosts out on The Wash to feed.

The birds’ distinctive calls as they squeal overhead herald the approach of winter as the nights draw in.

West Norfolk also provides some of our most spectacular sunsets, as the evening sun sinks low over the sea.

iwitness24_1918246_HORSES AND SEALSiwitness24_1918246_HORSES AND SEALS

Hunstanton and its surrounding beaches have also seen the tragic end of one of the giants of the sea, when huge sperm whales have become stranded in the shallows and died. Scientists are still trying to work out why the creatures, which belong in the deep oceans, lose their way.

A few miles up the coast at Holme, winter storms revealed the remains of a timber circle dating back more than 2,000 years. Seahenge shed new light on how our Bronze Age ancestors lived.

You don’t need to travel to the Pacific to explore a reef. There’s the world’s biggest chalk one barely 200 yards off the beach at Cromer, which is home to an incredible array of wildlife.

Remains of wooly mammoths dating back two million years, including one of the most intact specimens ever discovered have been found at nearby West Runton. Some of the first people to colonise our shores are believed to have walked on the beach at nearby Happisburgh. Footprints have been found in sediment dating back 800,000 years.

The magical Seahenge timber circle. Picture: Simon BamberThe magical Seahenge timber circle. Picture: Simon Bamber

Winter brings large numbers of grey seals ashore to breed on some of our remoter beaches such as Horsey. The animals in turn draw thousands of visitors to their Norfolk nursery.

The seas off Suffolk hold the secret of Dunwich, a city that was the capital of the east in Anglo Saxon times before it was lost to the sea in the 13th Century. Today just a tiny village survives.

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