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Norfolk nature reserve fair a 'must visit' for lovers of wildlife and the outdoors

PUBLISHED: 11:47 15 February 2019 | UPDATED: 11:48 15 February 2019

A red squirrel at Pensthorpe Natural Park, which is hosting a bird and wildlife fair in May. Picture: Ian Burt

A red squirrel at Pensthorpe Natural Park, which is hosting a bird and wildlife fair in May. Picture: Ian Burt

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A popular wildlife event being held at a Norfolk nature reserve will bring together experts in the fields of optic equipment and nature holidays, as well as featuring book-signings, walks, talks and wildlife-inspired arts and crafts.

Pensthorpe Natural Park, which is hosting a which is hosting a bird and wildlife fair in May. Picture: Ian BurtPensthorpe Natural Park, which is hosting a which is hosting a bird and wildlife fair in May. Picture: Ian Burt

The Pensthorpe Bird and Wildlife Fair, which will run at Pensthorpe Natural Park, near Fakenham, on May 18 and 19, was previously known as the Norfolk Bird and Wildlife Fair.

Hosted by the Pensthorpe Conservation Trust (PCT), the event is being organised in partnership with Norfolk Cottages, optical and outdoor equipment specialists Cley Spy, Wild Sounds and Books and the PCT’s nominated charity, Norfolk Wildlife Trust.

Mark Noble, who is a PCT trustee, said the name of the event had been changed in order to avoid confusion with other, similar, fairs in the county.

“We see this as our chance to position Norfolk as one of the birdwatching hotspots of the UK,” he said. “Our collaborative and passionate team are working hard to establish this event as a ‘must visit’ for anyone with an interest in wildlife and the outdoors.”

Counting conservation legend David Bellamy as its honorary vice-president and the Duke of Edinburgh as a patron, the PCT was formed in 2003 to continue and develop the work of its predecessor, the Pensthorpe Waterfowl Trust.

The charity, whose ‘Actively Saving Species’ project works on protecting red squirrels, corncrakes and turtle doves, aims to establish a centre of excellence at the 700 acre reserve through habitat management and restoration alongside conservation of wetland and farmland bird species through captive breeding programmes.

Mr Noble said fair organisers were focusing on finalising an exciting list of guest speakers, which would be announced soon.

He added: “April and May are the peak times for spring bird migration, so the event provides a weekend for birders to visit and stay in the county right in the middle of the busy migratory period.”

The Pensthorpe Bird and Wildlife Fair runs at Pensthorpe Natural Park from 10am– 6pm on May 18 and from 10am-5pm on May 19. Tickets, priced £8 (Under 3s and members free) are available from www.pensthorpe.com/birdfair or by phoning 01328 851465.

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