Monday, 1 August 2011

Windmills and wildlife in, er... Norfolk!

I've already done a blog post called windmills and wildlife in Lincolnshire, from our recent holiday to Norfolk, via Lincolnshire... but it must have been a theme for the holiday because we had a day of windmills and wildlife once we were in Norfolk too!

This time the windmill was a wind powered water pump rather than a flour grinding mill like the one we saw in Lincolnshire.

Horsey Windpump is a National Trust property overlooking Horsey Mere in the Norfolk Broads national park...
Horsey Windpump 2
Sadly (in my opinion) it seems to be pronounced 'Hor-zee' rather than 'Horse-ee'. Its a nice enough place though and you can walk right up to the top to take in the views across the broads.

Inside the windpump there were some great old photographs of local people from the past, such as this reed cutter...
Gathering reeds on Horsey Mere
Apparently there's currently a drive to get people cutting reeds in the traditional way again, and apprentices are being sought to learn the trade on the Norfolk Broads. It'll be a nice new career for someone, although the job sounds like very hard work and you probably spend most of the day with wet feet.

I got myself a nice Horsey Windpump tea towel (my second windmill-related souvenir tea towel!)...
Horsey Windpump tea towel

Once we'd checked out the windpump, we went for a wander around Horsey Mere and saw several amazing Swallowtail butterflies! They were huge! Flapping around the reeds and going about their business. I'd only ever seen one passing by briefly last time we were in Norfolk so it was a treat to be able to watch them for longer and really appreciate them. No photos unfortunately... they were a bit too far away and didn't stay still for long!

Next stop was Hickling Broad national nature reserve, which is managed by the Norfolk Wildlife Trust. Most of it looks like this...
Boardwalk view
Mmm... reed-beds! :)

There was an interesting selection of thatched bird hides...
Long thatched hide

And the Wildlife Trust runs guided boat trips around the reserve, so we booked ourselves on one of those and had an educational ride in a lovely boat...
View from the boat pick up point 2

We saw some other people out on the water, enjoying the sun in their impressive yacht...
Yacht on Hickling Broad
But I bet they weren't learning all about Egyptian geese like we were!