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Go wild with TV’s Nick at Pensthorpe

TV presenter, author and naturalist Nick Baker is set to open The Pensthorpe Conservation Trust’s annual community event Wild About the Wensum on Saturday, May 12.

Intrepid explorer and natural history expert Nick, who has presented Weird Creatures (C5), The Really Wild Show (BBC One) and Springwatch Unsprung (BBC Two), will officially open the event, meet members of the public and host a bug hunt.

Wild About the Wensum, now in its 12th year, is a special one-day event held by the Pensthorpe Conservation Trust with the sole focus on encouraging people of all ages, especially families who often don’t get the chance to be outdoors, to enjoy the Wensum Valley, within which Pensthorpe Natural Park is located.

This year’s theme, Hare Today, Gone Tomorrow, takes a look at the plight of the hare in the English landscape and celebrates Norfolk as one of the last strongholds for hares in Britain.

Local wildlife groups and nature charities such as the Norfolk Wildlife Trust, Wensum Alliance and Norfolk Bee Keepers Association will be in attendance plus there will be a special trail to follow and free hands-on nature activities to try.

Deb Jordan, co-owner of Pensthorpe Natural Park said: “We are thrilled that Nick Baker, someone as passionate about the natural world as we are, will be joining us for our community day. Nick shares our enthusiasm for re-engaging with nature and nothing encapsulates our desire to inspire our visitors more than Wild About the Wensum. We want to encourage all generations to get outdoors and embrace the delights of nature – it’s accessible to all!”

Nick said: “Pensthorpe not only boasts a fabulous location within Norfolk’s environment-rich Wensum Valley but it is a great example of an attraction with a cause – keen to do nothing more than encourage visitors to reconnect with the outdoors. It’s an ethos which is very close to my heart and I look forward to joining them and being part of the event.”

Nick will be hosting a meet and greet in the picnic area at 10am, officially open Wild About the Wensum at 11am, run an interactive bug hunt for children at 2pm, and at 3pm will host a book signing and talk entitled How to Make a Naturalist.

As part of his day at Pensthorpe, Nick will also be invited to judge an art and photography competition, which 39 local primary and junior schools have been invited to take part in.

As the event is aimed at families and those in the local community, Pensthorpe reduce admission prices to a nominal fee of £2 per person for tickets booked online in advance, and £3 per person on the day. Under 3’s are free. Please note there will be an additional charge to access indoor play area Hootz House.

To book tickets or for more information visit pensthorpe.com.

Pictures: PAUL CARTER and STEVE ADAMS

 

Presenter to open new Hoveton cafe

Channel 4’s Food Unwrapped presenter Kate Quilton will officially open the Garden Kitchen Cafe in the picturesque grounds of Hoveton Hall this Sunday (May 1).
The cafe is the latest venture by Norfolk chef Alex Firman and is housed in the old dairy barn. He said: “It’s real food cooked by real chefs using quality local and seasonal ingredients. It’s home cooked food with heart. We’re about flavour not flounce.”
Firman and his team, including front of house manager and former city florist Libby Ferris, grow their own produce in the nearby Hoveton Hall walled garden and source much of their ingredients locally including lamb from the neighbouring Hoveton Hall farm and locally caught fish.
“We want eating in the Garden Kitchen Cafe to feel like drawing up a chair to the best farmhouse kitchen table you can
imagine,” said Alex, who is catering for Kate’s wedding later this year. Kate will carrying out the honours at around noon.
The cafe has a diverse menu including Norfolk Plough Pudding, Tuscan-inspired Sunday roasts and classics like ploughman’s lunches with sour dough bread, Norfolk Dapple cheese and home-made bread and butter pickle. Signature ice cream sundaes will feature innovative flavours like rhubarb and custard ginger crumble.

Children can play in an enclosed field opposite which Alex plans to fill with a mini street of colourfully painted play houses and old wooden boats with sand.

kate web

Caroline Quentin unearths more historic properties in Restoration Home

The restoration of St Peter’s Barn, at Horstead, will be featured next Wednesday on TV, as Caroline Quentin returns to follow the fortunes of eight properties, all facing a struggle for survival, all with committed new owners wanting to turn historic ruins into dream homes. Continue reading