Ambassador of Norfolk Wildlife Trust and of Norfolk Day, Dr Ben Garrod, will journey across Norfolk on Friday 27 July to highlight some of the quirky, precious and unknown wildlife nature reserves as the county celebrates all that’s great in Norfolk.
He said: “This is going to be a full day exploring the best, most hidden, most surprising sites for wildlife in Norfolk, looking for both rarities and common species! We live alongside our wild neighbours, sharing homes with foxes, towns with otters and beaches with seals. Our skies are bursting with jewelled butterflies and our forests resounding with melodic birds. I am excited to get out there and explore all Norfolk has to offer.”
Ben will start Norfolk Day right on the eastern edge, on the beach looking at marine wildlife. Marine life is abundant in the sea off Norfolk, including more than 30 species of sea slugs, harbour porpoises, grey and harbour seals, alongside occasional sightings of sunfish and basking sharks.
He will then travel to NWT Upton Broad and Marshes, on the lookout for Broadland specialities including marsh harriers, Norfolk hawker dragonflies and swallowtail butterflies.
Stops in south Norfolk include the smallest wildlife trust nature reserve in the whole of the UK, at just 0.025 hectares; a crucial common land, where Ben will talk to conservationists about their new Wildlife in Common project helping people reclaim their local commons; and an ancient woodland with a dark history, the fabled site of Babes in the Wood.
Two National Nature Reserves will end his East to West tour of the county. NWT Weeting Heath is home to the enigmatic Norfolk plover (stone curlews); and NWT Roydon Common, Norfolk’s largest remaining heathland where he will hopefully hear rare nightjars and spot bats.
Chief Executive of Norfolk Wildlife Trust, Brendan Joyce OBE said: “Norfolk Wildlife Trust is proud to be the first charity partner for Norfolk Day. It’s a day to celebrate all that it means to be Norfolk, including the fragile landscape and our exceptional species. We hope you enjoy following Ben’s journey on social media and with Archant and Radio Norfolk and feel inspired to venture out yourselves over the summer.”