Environmentally, my dear Watson!

A famous detective duo have helped a Norfolk nature study centre as it seeks to plot a post pandemic future.

Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson entertained a sell-out crowd of 200 people in the grounds of How Hill at the weekend in a fun show staged by the Pantaloons, who put a new slant on Sherlock’s classic cases including The Speckled Band.

Proceeds from the event, organised by its Friends group, will help the environmental study centre, which has lost its visiting schools, and its income, during lockdown – with none expected now until next year.


The Pantaloons’ Holmes (Edward Ferrow) and Watson (Christopher Smart) relax at How Hill’s front door after the successful fundraising show.

But the centre, at Ludham, which has been teaching youngsters about the countryside around them for 50 years, remains positive about its future, and is preparing to bounce back when educational work resumes in 2021.

Director Simon Partridge said: “We know our regular schools are keen to return as soon as it is safe to do so, and we have been making preparations for that happy day. A stay at How Hill has been a highlight of the schooldays of thousands of pupils over the years, and aim to make that true in the future too.”

The centre hosted its last pupils on March 18. It has put most of its previously 13-strong staff on furlough and a couple of roles have been made redundant.

Mr Partridge added: “People visiting our gardens have been very generous with £4000 worth of donations so far this summer, which tops last year’s figure for the whole season.

“We are using our downtime to carry out decoration and planned improvements in the house, and are assessing how we may need to change bedroom, toilet and kitchen areas for a post Covid future, which are likely to result in rising costs and therefore fees.

“But we are remaining positive – and working towards resuming school residential and day visits next year, along with our programme of adult events and our much-missed tea room.”

If you have enjoyed a trip to How Hill as a child or an adult and would like to donate towards its funds, please visit its JustGiving page by clicking here.

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