Blickling unveils new family-friendly multi-use trail

The National Trust has opened a new all-weather, multi-use trail at Blickling that will give families the opportunity to get active and discover the wider parkland and abundant wildlife that calls it home.

Officially opening on Friday 9 June, the route at Blickling offers a new 4-mile safe off-road path through the beautiful historic park and farmland. The new trail follows existing paths for all but 800m, with a new stretch completing a circular loop that avoids roads. The all-weather surface also means more people can explore the estate whatever the season.

Stuart Banks, Countryside Manager at Blickling, said: “With more families visiting Blickling, it’s important for us to provide a safe place for them to enjoy the wider estate. Cycling is an activity that the whole family can enjoy together and this provides an easy, safe route to get them started.

“It’s a traffic-free environment, and has an all-weather surface that’s suitable for pushchairs and buggies too, so we hope families with younger children will now find it easier to explore the wider estate. It’s also suitable for adapted wheelchair users and we hope to have a mobility scooter available to hire in the coming months.”

The park is Grade II* listed, which meant that very careful consideration had to be given to the material used for the trail’s surface.

National Trust Project Manager, Katherine Mortlock, said: “Carrstone is a local stone that weathers quickly and gives a suitable surface for cyclists, walkers, runners and adapted wheelchair users. The conservation benefits of the path are already being felt and were one of the prime considerations of the project.”

The new trail has enabled Blickling’s countryside team to improve and repair many areas, which had previously been muddy or pot-holed from heavy use, making the park more accessible even in the wettest weather. There was also noticeably less damage during Blickling’s recent bluebell season, with visitors keeping to the well-marked path, protecting these native wildflowers.

The National Trust would like to thank our members, supporters, donors and visitors, without whom projects like this would not be possible. And with the trail starting and finishing at the Muddy Boots Café in the main car park, there’s lots of opportunity for a well-earned treat too.

PICTURE: Antonia Gray

Police deal with ‘anti social’ Aylsham youngsters

Nine young people in Aylsham have been positively dealt with by Beat Manager PC Shepherd with the assistance of response colleagues and the Broadland Operational Partnership Team (OPT).

ASB intervention letters have been sent out to the youths involved who were found inside different derelict properties, including the former St Michaels Hospital site on Cawston Road. Damage was caused by starting fires at these locations during April and May.

PCSO Tracey Frost, of Broadland OPT, commented “We would advise parents to have an awareness of where their children are and what they are doing at all times.

Entering these sites is inherently dangerous as the structures are generally unsafe and parts of the buildings could collapse at any time. There is also a risk from asbestos.

These types of incidents and behaviour show a lack of respect for others and greatly affect the quality of life of people living within the community”.

Driver clocked at 100mph by Aylsham speed sign

A driver was clocked at 100mph on Henry Page Road earlier in the year, according to statistics collected by Aylsham’s moveable speed sign.

Aylsham Town Council bought the SAM 2 speed awareness system last summer to raise awareness of speed limits around Aylsham.

The unit is positioned on various roads around town for up to four weeks gathering data and warning drivers if they need to slow down, before it is moved to another spot.

The data includes maximum speeds measured, the volume of traffic, average speed and the percentage of drivers breaking the speed limit.

Some of the most notable statistics are:

  • A staggering 100mph registered on Henry Page Road towards the A140 on February 10 at 4.55pm. The limit is 40mph.
  • Another speeder was registered at 80mph in the other direction on Henry Page Road on January 27 at 1.25am.
  • Someone driving at 55mph in the 20mph limit on Millgate at the bottom of Gas House Hill at noon on April 9. At this same location, Sunday was the worst day in terms of the percentage of drivers going over the limit at nearly 56%.
  • A speed of 75mph recorded on October 26 at 1.50pm in the 30mph limit on Norwich Road, travelling towards town.

The sign has recently been on the Blickling Road going out of town so there will be another set of data produced for that location.

The data collected from the units by the town council is reviewed and passed to local police.

Clerk Sue Lake said: “The town council is recording all the information gathered and forwarding it to the police who can identify any issues and immediately address persistent regular offenders if any are identified. This is only one aspect of speed awareness and the council is still keen to re-establish speedwatch in the town but require the public to volunteer.”

That data can be viewed on the town council website at

The speed sensors that have been moving to various location around the town.


Nominate your food hero before June 5

It’s time to get those entries in for this year’s Norfolk Hero Food & Drink Awards at the Aylsham Show on August bank holiday Monday.

The deadline for entries into the eleventh annual competition which is sponsored by Lovewell Blake is June 5, so get scribbling or typing – it’s easy to enter either in writing or online and the promotional rewards for businesses are very real.

There are five main categories, which are listed below:
• Best Specialist Food or Drink Producer, sponsored by Barclays.
• Best Use of Norfolk Produce on Menu, sponsored by Gressingham Foods.
• Best Food or Drink Supplier/Retailer, sponsored by Dewing Grain.
• Best New Food or Drink Venture, sponsored by For Farmers.
• Individual Food or Drink Hero

The category judging will take place during the week commencing 19th June and the championship judging will take place during July, with the overall winner announced at the Aylsham Show on 28th August.

The individual Food or Drink Hero winner will also be announced at this time.

Chair of the Competition, Jacinth Rogers, said: “Over the years, the Aylsham Show food heroes awards have gained an excellent reputation for identifying and rewarding some of the very best food and drink producers, suppliers and linked businesses in the county.

“We have an amazing array of food and drink in this county and it is an incredibly important part of the county’s economy and employment provision. We love celebrating that array and would encourage as many entries as possible to these fabulous awards.”

Ellie Savory from Norfolk Quail, who last year won both the Best Food or Drink Supplier/Retailer and the Overall Championship, said: “It was a real honour to receive this level of recognition from the Aylsham Show team and to appear on the day itself to hear we had also won the Championship.

“Local promotion and awareness is of course very important to a business such as ours, so I would certainly recommend the competition.”

Last year’s winners were Scrummy Pig based at Wroxham Barns in Hoveton, Rocky Bottoms seafood café at West Runton, GF White butchers in Aylsham, Truly Local farm shop in Stalham, Norfolk Quail of Great Ryburgh and Catherine Temple, from Mrs Temple’s Cheeses.

Mike Fish of Scrummy Pig said: “It was a real coup for us to win as such a young business and it definitely helped spread the word around the county that we were here.

“We have just been featured on the front of a new publication The Norfolk Cook Book – so we must be doing something right!”

You can nominate online at and clicking on Show Competitions, where you can view a brochure, printable nomination form and online nomination form.

New roundabout due to open tomorrow

The long awaited new roundabout on the Aylsham bypass is due to open tomorrow (Saturday 8th).

The A140/Burgh Road junction works will pave the way for town’s new filling station and pop-in Marks and Spencer store.

The £575,000 project, which was funded by David Wilson Homes, was carried out by Norfolk County Council’s Community and Environmental Services Department and their contractors.

It’s widely believed the roundabout will make the junction safer, but will also mean traffic being slower and therefore safer at the nearby Buxton Road junction.

The new petrol station at Aylsham which is already beginning to take shape.

Aylsham gets ready to party again

Aylsham will have another market place street party this summer, following the success of similar parties last year for the Queen’s 90th birthday and in 2012 for the Diamond Jubilee.

The “bring your own” Sunday lunch will be held on June 11 from noon to 5pm and follow the same format as 2016.
This year, a Big Lottery Fund grant of £1,886 under the Celebrate England banner will help fund the event, plus a £500 grant from Broadland District Council.

This means there will be little or no expenditure for the town council to find from its own budgets, explained town clerk Sue Lake.

So far, popular rock and pop covers band Agent Orange have been booked to play at the party, with further details of other entertainment to come soon.

“The success of both 2012 and 2016 meant we were very keen to have a repeat,” said Mrs Lake.

“The lunch shows Aylsham in its true colours of community spirit and we are all very much looking forward to June 11.”

Booking forms can be found on the town council website – booking is mandatory.

Everyone in Aylsham is invited to the lunch, although it will be on a first-come, first-served basis through the booking system.

Angels beat rivals Aylsham to take local pride

Last night in front of a huge crowd North Walsham ran out 3-1 winners against Aylsham.

The Angels were in control for most of the game with their pacey wingers causing problems to the Aylsham back four, once they got ahead Aylsham were always facing an uphill battle, one that became even harder after they received two red cards.

Angels chairman Alex Brady said, “What a win last night for North Walsham. From the first minute to the 90th, every single member of the management team and playing staff battled and fought to ensure the 3 points stayed at Greens Road, with the goals coming from Matty Downing (2) and Liam Clarke.

Credit has to go to Aylsham for bringing over 100 fans, and with the overall crowd in excess of 300 it was a brilliant occasion with lots of friendly banter between the two sets of fans.

A special mention has to go to the referee for controlling the game well in the tough conditions – and he certainly played his part in a very entertaining game.

With crowd numbers at record levels in 2017, it certainly serves as a reminder that football is alive and well within the town, and that improved facilities should continue to remain the aim for the club and the town”

It was in stark contrast to the Aylsham camp whose promotion push has slipped away in recent weeks, manager Martin Meek said, “We were all gutted and disappointed in the changing room after the game, we let ourselves and the fans down. But fair play to North Walsham who were the better team on the night.”


Aylsham man raises £1500 for local scout groups

A Boxing Day swim at Cromer has helped Norfolk Scouts with £1,500 raised by Aylsham Freemason Robin Rush.

The money raised was split equally between the 1st Buxton and Lamas Sea Scouts and the 46th Norwich Scout Group. Norwich Masonic Lodge Royal George Chapter also donated £500 to 46th Norwich.

Robin is 76 years old but still active, regularly cycling hundreds of miles locally and abroad each year. He has taken part in the Cromer Boxing Day Swim for more than 10 years, with the majority of the money raised by local Masonic Lodges and their members.

A keen Scout in his youth and a member of the Scout Lodge in Norfolk, Robin has supported Buxton Scouts for several years raising thousands of pounds. This year he decided to share the money with 46th Norwich, which is a group specifically for the disabled.

“Scout Lodge has been giving regular assistance and this year I wanted to give them my personal support”, said Robin. “There are so many youngsters with disabilities wanting to join in with activities, so this will be my charity focus in our tercentenary year”.

This year Freemasons are celebrating 300 years since the formation of the United Grand Lodge of England, with celebrations being held both locally and nationally.

Dean Butcher, Scout Leader of 46th Norwich said: “This is a great boost for our members and will go to help fund field trips and weekends away as each Scout must bring a carer.”

Graham Breeze, Group Scout Leader of Buxton Scouts said: “This donation will help us upgrade and expand our facilities to enable even more young people enjoy Scouting in and around the Buxton area”.

Peter Leggett of Royal George Chapter said: “The 46th Norwich Scouts were one of the charities nominated to share in the proceeds of our Benevolent Fund. Scouting has the same principles as Freemasonry and we are pleased to support their good work for disabled young people in Norfolk.”

Robin Rush (middle left) and Peter Leggett of Royal George Chapter
(middle right), presenting cheques to members of 1st Buxton Sea Scouts and 46th Norwich Scout Group.