BGT finalist to perform at Hoveton Hall Gardens

Britain’s Got Talent star John Parnell will be bringing a touch of hoopla to Hoveton Hall Garden’s May Bank Holiday Country Fair.

Known as the Hoop Guy, John impressed the celebrity judges with his catchy tunes and hooping skills in the semi-finals of the ITV’s hit show last year.

County Fair visitors will get a chance to see Hoop Guy perform his amazing hula hooping along with juggling and circus skills on Sunda,y May 27, and Monday, May 28.

Dogs will also be able to show off their agility prowess in a fun dog show with a difference with categories including waggiest tail, scruffiest mutt, best puppy, best veteran, agility and best in show.

Country Fair visitors will be able to enjoy the stunning 200 varieties of rhododendrons and azaleas in bloom. Other activities during the two-day event include craft stalls, falconry, archery, Punch and Judy, storytelling, soldier re-enactment with the East Norfolk Militia, clay pigeon shooting and vintage games.

The Country Fair kicks off a series of summer entertainment including a special Father’s Day treat. Dads get free entry into Hoveton Hall Gardens on Sunday, June 17.

All visitors to Hoveton Hall Gardens can also dine al fresco nearby at The Garden Kitchen Café where chef Alex Firman uses some of Norfolk’s finest produce to inspire his unique menu. Herbs and vegetables grown in the estate’s walled garden, meat bought from nearby farmers and fish supplied by North Norfolk communities are transformed into some delicious dishes.

See more at or call 01603 784297.




Enjoy a sky high view in Coltishall

There’s a chance to see Coltishall in a new light on September 11 with a special event throughout the whole village.
On Sunday, September 11, Coltishall will be holding its annual garage sale throughout the village to raise funds for the Coltishall and Horstead Preschool.
Again, the church will be open to visitors for refreshments, various stalls and, best of all, trips to the top of the tower.
Editor Gay Webster and work experience Molly Foss took a trip up the tower to get these pictures recently to give an idea of what you can see.
There will also be the chance to see the working mechanism of the bells and even have a go.
The church will be open from 10am-3pm.
Audrey Weston said: “Come along and chime the bells, see the clock tower, bell chamber, ringing chamber and of course take some amazing pictures from the very roof top, the views are really great. Inside the church there will be various stalls, raffle prizes, tea/coffee, soft drinks and cakes to keep you going.”
One stall will be selling pre-loved items to raise funds for St John’s Church.
For the garage sale, the preschool will be producing a trail map and co-ordinating various pitches around the villages, of which St John’s Church is one.
Base camp is Coltishall Village Hall, where visitors will be able to buy their trail map for the day and check out a table-top-sale, toy sale and refreshments.
All the money will go towards providing early learning education for local tots at the preschool.
To book in for the sale call 07747 663565 or email

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Chance to nominate Broads volunteer for award

People are being urged to nominate Broads volunteers for a prestigious national award

The UK’s national parks are calling for nominations for their annual UK National Parks Volunteer Awards. The awards enable the parks to thank volunteers for the thousands of hours of service, effort and dedication they contribute every year, helping to make the national parks Britain’s most treasured landscapes.

There are four categories for nominations – Individual, Young Person (25 years and below), Group and Project. The Group and Project winners will receive a £1,000 bursary towards their future volunteering efforts. The Individual and Young Person winners will receive outdoor gear. Nominations will be accepted until midnight on Friday, September 23.

“The Volunteer Awards are always one of the highlights of our calendar,” said Kathryn Cook, National Parks UK Director. “We love the awards because they give us an opportunity to showcase our amazing volunteer force and all the tremendous work they put in across the 15 national parks. Help us to find our national park heroes and give them the recognition that they deserve.”

The awards recognise the hard work of volunteers deemed to have gone above and beyond the usual expectations of volunteer service. Beth Williams, volunteer coordinator for the Broads Authority, which is a member of the national park family, said: “Many of our projects would be impossible to undertake without the dedication of our volunteers. So please help them to receive national acclaim through these prestigious awards.”

In 2014, the group award went to the Nancy Oldfield Trust at Neatishead, which offers disabled and socially disadvantaged people the chance to go boating on the Broads. Volunteers take visitors sailing, motor boating and canoeing, and fishing and birdwatching are also available.

To nominate a deserving individual, young person, group, or project for 2016, visit:

More information on the awards, including FAQs and terms and conditions can be found at the same URL.

The volunteer service or project must take place within the boundaries of one of the UK’s 15 national parks, but nominees need not be volunteering for a UK national park.

A shortlist of nominees will be released in October and the winners will be announced in November.

To find out more about the work that volunteers do in the Broads, as well as how to volunteer yourself, visit:

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Pony power helps the Broads


Pony Power was launched at the Broads Authority’s annual open morning at Whitlingham Country Park to kicks off the 16-day Outdoors Festival.

It will give people a chance to contribute to the management of the ponies which, with their sensitive grazing patterns, help maintain fenland around the Broads.

The scheme promotes and celebrates 20 years of conservation management using ponies on the Broads fens. In return for a £20 donation members of the public will receive pony news, gifts – including a cute miniature plush pony – and special information.

The Broads Authority has a 25-strong pony team grazing six fenland sites. Made up of Konik and Welsh Mountain ponies the discerning diners are preferable to modern mowers. They feed on coarse grass, rushes and smaller fine-leaved sweet vegetation but, unlike mowers, leave the more wildlife-friendly plants and flowers alone.

Sue Stephenson, Environment Officer for the Broads Authority, said: “The ponies do an amazing job, munching on vegetation and in return managing our beautiful Broads habitat. There are some interesting characters and watching them interact is often entertaining.

“As many of our sites are tucked away and off the beaten track, people may not be aware that the ponies are part of our workforce.”

Anyone wanting to join the scheme or just find out more can visit

Wild Ponies on the Norfolk Broads

Wild Ponies on the Norfolk Broads

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Free event publicity for Broads businesses

Free high-profile promotional opportunities are available for organisers of events as part of the annual Broads Outdoors Festival.

Now in its sixth year the festival is an umbrella for special events, activities and offers which are organised to take place any time from May 7-22 inclusive – whether for one hour or the full 16 days.

They could include anything from art exhibitions, walking or boating trails, activity taster sessions, openings of buildings not normally accessible by the public, a music event or even just an Outdoors Festival tea and cake offer.

Even if your event is already scheduled it can still be part of the festival, which has become a staple on the Broads calendar with the simple aim of celebrating the wealth of activities on offer.

Lorna Marsh, Head of Communications at the Broads Authority, said: “Events benefit from a huge amount of free publicity. It will be promoted through the Outdoors Festival website, which will also host all the event listings on an interactive calendar, and hosted on the Enjoy the Broads website.

Those wishing to take up this opportunity should contact Lynne Finnigan, Festival Co-ordinator, on 07717 290307 or

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