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New Buckenham Common with pond - Richard Osbourne

Celebrate Norfolk Commons Week September 22-30 2018

Norfolk Wildlife Trust is holding a week of free walks, talks, activities and events to celebrate our heritage of common land in the county during September.

There are more than 300 commons in Norfolk, ranging from tiny fragments to several hectares, such as Norfolk Wildlife Trust nature reserves like Roydon Common and New Buckenham Common. They are home to a wealth of wildlife, from barn owls to bats, green winged orchids to great crested newts.

As part of the events for Commons Week, NWT will be looking for reptiles on Beeston Common; dyke dipping at Shotesham Common; and recording as many different animal and plant species as we can at Broome Heath, plus many other activities, including plenty for children to get involved with.

Commons in Norfolk were once commonplace: every parish had one and these were often very extensive. It is thought that more than 25% of Norfolk may at one time have been common land. Despite these losses, many fragments of commons have survived to the present day. Some are well known as nature reserves but most are comparatively small and often little known by nearby communities.

Looking for wildlife

Head of People and Wildlife at NWT, David North said: 'Each common has its own fascinating story to be discovered. Stories about local history, about how the landscape in Norfolk has, and is, changing, and about the wildlife that makes common land its home.'

'As part of Norfolk Commons Week, Norfolk Wildlife Trust is inviting people to join them us an event, or to visit a local common, take a photo and submit records of wildlife found on commons. We want you to help document some of the many species which have declined elsewhere but still find a habitat and home on our common land.'

Commons Week is part of a two year Wildlife in Common project, run by Norfolk Wildlife Trust in partnership with Norfolk County Council and University of East Anglia. It empowers local people to connect with their common land, survey commons for wildlife and ultimately may lead to the creation of new commons in Norfolk.

You can find details of how to submit a photo, a wildlife record and further information on all the commons week events at www.norfolkwildlifetrust.org.uk

Commons photo competition

Grass snake swimming across a pond - Peter Dent

Norfolk Commons Week events: All are free to attend

Our heritage of commons across the county are part of what makes Norfolk special: brilliant for wildlife and great places to explore. Help us celebrate them.

Saturday 22 September
In Step with Beeston Common Wildlife, 2 - 4pm

Join Francis Farrow, Beeston Common honorary warden, as he shows us what makes this place so special. From reptiles to butterflies, plants to birds we will keep our eyes peeled as we are guided through the different habitats found on this gem of a wildlife site.
Meet: Layby next to Beeston Common, nearest postcode NR26 8RX, grid ref.: TG166425

Sunday 23 September
Wild about Shotesham, 2 - 5pm

Take part in a guided walk, join in with a minibeast safari, have a go at dyke dipping, make a bird box and explore the common through our treasure hunt. Lots to do, plenty to see.
Meet: Shotesham Common, Shotesham, NR15 1YB

Tuesday 25 September
Norfolk Commons through the Times, 8 - 9.30pm

Helen Baczkowska, NWT Conservation Officer, will take us through the history of commons in Norfolk and look at the role they play today.
Location: Gissing Community Building, Lower Street, Gissing, IP22 5UJ

Wednesday 26 September
The Landscape History of Fritton Common, 5 - 6.30pm

Fritton Common is one of the finest surviving examples of an unenclosed Clayland common in East Anglia. Professor Tom Williamson will examine some of its typical features including the fine pollarded oaks.
Meeting point: confirmed on booking
Booking essential: wild@norfolkwildlifetrust.org.uk or phone 01603 598318

Batty about the Common, 6 - 8pm

Come and explore Litcham Common to look for some of the wildlife that call it home.
Meeting point: Litcham Common Car Park, Dunham Road, Litcham, PE32 2NU

Thursday 27 September
In Step with the Common, 10 to 11.30am

A walk taking in the wildlife and conservation management of almost 120 acres of heathland, woodland, valley mire and fen. Holt Lowes is home to many rare plants and animals and is a Special Area of Conservation.
Meeting point: Mackey’s Hill car park. Hempstead Rd, NR25 6ES

Saturday 29 September
Discover the wildlife of Broome Heath

A series of guided walks and children’s activities throughout the day.
Meeting point: Car park off Loddon Road (by Broome and Ditchingham Playgroup building), Ditchingham, NR35 2RD

The Early Bird, 8 to 9.30am

Not quite up with the lark, but hopefully we will still find lots of birds and learn how to identify them by sight.

Wild about the Wildflowers, 10.30am to 12 noon

Explore the heath with us and discover some of the wildflowers that make this place so special.

Minibeast Safari, 2 to 3pm

With magni-jars at the ready we will go on a bug hunt and see what we can find.
If you have your own bug pot please bring it along, if you don’t you can borrow one of ours.

Wildlife Blitz, 3.30 to 4.30pm

Join us as we try and record as many different animal and plant species as we can in 1 hour.

Sunday 30 September
Open Day – Sustead Common, North Norfolk, 10am to 4pm

Join The Felbeck Trust and Norfolk Wildlife Trust and discover the common and not so common on this hidden wildlife gem.
Meeting point: Sustead Common, Sustead Lane, Sustead, Norfolk, NR11 8QZ

 

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