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Meet the young team of nature lovers helping to secure the future of Norfolk’s green spaces

PUBLISHED: 15:13 31 August 2018 | UPDATED: 15:13 31 August 2018

The young team of nature lovers have joined Pensthorpe Natural Park's Junior Board. Picture: Supplied by Rachael Shakespeare.

The young team of nature lovers have joined Pensthorpe Natural Park's Junior Board. Picture: Supplied by Rachael Shakespeare.

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Pensthorpe Natural Park, near Fakenham, has unveiled a team of young nature lovers to help the reserve motivate the next generation to look after the environment.

Pensthorpe Natural Park Owners Bill and Deb Jordan celebrating the park's 30th anniversary earlier this year. Picture: PENSTHORPE NATURAL PARKPensthorpe Natural Park Owners Bill and Deb Jordan celebrating the park's 30th anniversary earlier this year. Picture: PENSTHORPE NATURAL PARK

The group of 12, aged between nine and 11, are the latest recruits for Pensthorpe’s Junior Board, an initiative which has been in place since 2015 to offer passionate children an opportunity to help influence ways in which the Norfolk attraction can better engage with young people.

The latest intake will be in place until June 2020 and has been selected from a host of entries submitted from across the county.

Deb Jordan, owner of Pensthorpe Natural Park, said: “It’s a delight to see so many passionate and enthusiastic young nature lovers get together to share ideas and talk about ways to protect the environment.

“At this age these inspiring young people are already making positive changes in their local communities. Encouraging others to see the merits of the natural world is high on their agenda, as is the desire to get more children outside to explore what nature has to offer.

Pensthorpe Natural Park's wetland discovery area. Picture: Ian BurtPensthorpe Natural Park's wetland discovery area. Picture: Ian Burt

“We share these values with the group and are excited to see where our future brainstorming sessions will take us.”

The final 12 include Gareth Nunn, from Loddon, who runs a school bird watching club, Hannah Hall, from Norwich, who organises local litter picks and Niamph Down, from Dereham, who builds bug mansions in her garden.

The group also includes Keira Neave, from Beetley, the winner of a nature photography competition and Keiran Walpole, from Fakenham, who was hailed a local hero for rescuing 130 toads off a busy road near Dereham earlier this year.

Other members of the board are avid bird and bat watchers, while some volunteer at local nature reserves or are members of their school’s eco council.

The first meeting of the Junior Board took place in July where they discussed new event ideas, their favourite things about nature and ways to encourage more families to spend time outdoors.

The next meeting of the group will take place in October.

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