The East Anglia Region held an additional event this year when the Fellowship visited the Pensthorpe Natural Park on Wednesday 11th September. The reserve situated near Fakenham in Norfolk was the location of the BBC’s Springwatch programme from 2008 until 2010. The park covers around 700 acres and is a multiple winner of Norfolk’s Best Large Attraction award and features stunning gardens, flocks of wild birds including flamingos and features many different types of natural habitat.
Our day commenced with a welcome coffee in the Courtyard Cafe before being welcomed by our host, Eddie, in a private restaurant room that would become our base for the day. The Viewing Gallery over Mill Pond along with the many species of birds on view in the Wader Aviary gave a good introduction to the treat ahead of us.
A one hour Pensthorpe Explorer motorised tour gave a good insight of the outlaying areas of park and took us on a 70 acre loop with an explanation of some of the history. The site of the ancient Pensthorpe village which had been decimated by the Black Plague in 1395 was pointed out to us by our guide Emma. On the tour we saw a vast array of woods, fields, meadows and lakes and the wildlife that is supported by the environment was a pleasure to observe.
It was then back to Courtyard Cafe where a very welcome pre lunch drink was taken before a very generous and well prepared two course meal was served. After lunch the event organiser, Brian Childs, thanked the group for their continued support. Thanks was also extended to Eddie and the Pensthorpe team for making the day the success it was with special thanks going to Beckie who made the arrangements for the day.
A Guided Garden Walk was arranged after lunch for those still with the energy to participate and our guide, Matt, took us on a short loop of the gardens close to the park’s central buildings. The natural plants allowed to flourish in the environment featured heavily as did the chalk based River Wensum which, close to its source meandered through this part of the park.
After a long but most enjoyable day the group said their farewells and departed for the journey home and looking forward to the next event.