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Top conservationist exploring nature hotspots for special Norfolk Day tour

PUBLISHED: 15:00 19 July 2018

Dr Ben Garrod, Norfolk Day Norfolk Wildlife Trust ambassador, at one of the nature spots he will visit on his Norfolk Day tour on July 27. Picture: SENT IN BY NORFOLK WILDLIFE TRUST

Dr Ben Garrod, Norfolk Day Norfolk Wildlife Trust ambassador, at one of the nature spots he will visit on his Norfolk Day tour on July 27. Picture: SENT IN BY NORFOLK WILDLIFE TRUST

SENT IN BY NORFOLK WILDLIFE TRUST

A conservation champion will mark Norfolk Day by exploring the county’s quirky and unknown nature spots to celebrate .

Norfolk Wildlife Trust ambassador, children's TV presenter Jess French, supports Norfolk Day. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYNorfolk Wildlife Trust ambassador, children's TV presenter Jess French, supports Norfolk Day. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Dr Ben Garrod, Norfolk Day and Norfolk Wildlife Trust (NWT) ambassador, will journey across Norfolk on Friday, July 27.

Norfolk Day LogoNorfolk Day Logo

The nature expert will travel from Caister beach to Roydon Common to celebrate all that is great in Norfolk.

Wayland Wood Picture: RICHARD OSBOURNEWayland Wood Picture: RICHARD OSBOURNE

Dr Garrod said: “What better way to celebrate our county than to head out and get a little bit wild and dirty on Norfolk Day?

A nightjar on Roydon Common Picture: MARTIN SUTTONA nightjar on Roydon Common Picture: MARTIN SUTTON

“With more than 90 miles of coastline and more than 50 nature reserves, our county is a diverse and unique patchwork of fascinating habitats and invaluable ecosystems.

A stone curlew on Weeting Heath Picture: LAWRIE WEBBA stone curlew on Weeting Heath Picture: LAWRIE WEBB

“I wanted to see as much as I could in a single day, so shall be travelling across the county east to west, to see basking adder and elusive porpoises, to spot darting dragonflies and soaring marsh harriers.”

The trust is the charity partner of Norfolk Day and owns and maintains several sites across the county.

Dr Garrod added: “We’ll be crouching to find beautiful orchids and listening out for the mournful call of the nightjar.

“I’ll be travelling by boat and kayak, road and on foot to access both some of our more well-known wild spaces as well as some you may never have heard of.

“Norfolk is a rare gem of wildlife and wild places and along with NWT, I want to help show just how important, fascinating and fun our wild county can be.”

He will start the wildlife adventure on Caister beach looking at marine wildlife.

Dr Garrod will meet Jess French, NWT children’s ambassador, at the starting point and the pair will carry out a two-minute beach clean to help marine wildlife.

He will also learn about the trust’s A Sure Start with Nature project which provides nature activities for the under 5s in three Norfolk Sure Start centres.

Later that morning he will visit the trust’s New Buckenham Common.

It is at this spot where he will learn about a new project - Wildlife in Common.

This project aims to help communities celebrate their local commons and get involved in surveying them for wildlife.

These areas can form important refuges for wildlife, including many species that have declined in the wider countryside.

The NWT is asking people to send us their sightings of 20 species on their local common, including barn owls, orchids, turtle doves and grayling butterflies to name a few.

For an atmospheric ancient woodland location, Dr Garrod will visit the trust’s Wayland Wood near Watton, the alleged site of the Babes in the Wood legend.

Two national nature reserves will end his east to west tour of Norfolk.

The conservationist will explore the trust’s Weeting Heath in Breckland, home to stone curlew birds.

He will end his long Norfolk Day adventure at the trust’s Roydon Common, which is one of the best remaining heathlands in Norfolk.

It is a top spot for heathland reptiles, including adder, slow worm, and lizard.

Visit www.norfolkwildlifetrust.org.uk

Are you organising a Norfolk Day event? Email norfolkday@archant.co.uk, tweet @norfolk or message the Norfolk Day Facebook page.

Norfolk Day shop

An online shop has been launched selling Norfolk Day marketing material which event organisers can display on the day.

The shop is selling a four-pack of flags, four-pack of A3 posters and 20 balloons at £4, while 5m of bunting is £8.

Celebration packs containing all of the above are available for £18.

Norfolk Day takes place on Friday, July 27, and is intended as a day of fun in which individuals, community groups and businesses are encouraged to get involved by hosting or participating in events.

The initiative was launched by the EDP and Norwich Evening News in partnership with BBC Radio Norfolk and has the backing of business and community organisations who are planning events for the day.

Details of events will be revealed in the newspaper, online and via social media.

To order Norfolk Day materials visit www.norfolkday.co.uk shop to buy celebratory items.

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