Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Summer Holidays Fly By......

Pond Dipping
With a great many people enjoying their school summer holidays by making a visit to Holkham, our education team here have been busy presenting an array of fun and informative educational activities around the estate & on occasion enjoying a spot of time off after our busy summer term!

There has been a series of Discovery Days held in our fantastic Walled Gardens, with young visitors trying their hands at mini-beast hunting, designing pine cone creatures, making bug houses, biodegradable plant pots & simple birdfeeders, planting beans, sowing seeds & special highlight dissecting owl pellets. Our pond dipping in the lake has once again been very popular with visitors catching an array of wildlife in their nets – the highlight have been baby fish, damsel fly larvae, dragonfly larvae, water boatmen, cased caddis fly larvae and even a water scorpion! Special thanks to our volunteers Gail, Linda & Rose for helping us throughout the summer.

Trailer Tours
Our fabulous new Trailer Tours have proved very popular and the 32-seat trailer, towed by the 7th Earl’s wonderful old Massey Ferguson 135, has been filled with happy visitors who have enjoyed seeing parts of the estate that are not normally seen by the public. We’ve been sharing their knowledge of the heritage and traditions of Holkham’s farming history, as well the modern, eco-friendly and conservation minded methods of farming today. Visitors on the tours also get an insight into the forestry management here and the farming company’s forward thinking diversification, which now includes the solar farm and the biomass anaerobic digester up at Egmere. A huge vote of thanks must go to our dedicated volunteer tractor drivers, Richard and Mike.

Our Adult Education has continued with our monthly Walking Women group & Guided Walk of the National Nature Reserve both popular. August is an exciting month for us as we also explore the creatures of the night on Bat Walks within the Parkland. Despite some drizzle (you can’t help the British weather!) we’ve managed to see & hear (using bat detectors) Soprano Pipistrelles above our head which has been a magnificent experience for all. Thanks to Keith & Sonya from Norfolk Barbastelle Study Group for their help with leading these.

Behind the scenes we’ve been busy working on developing our Secondary School Programme & our new Exhibition Field to Fork which is opening in April 2106. There’s never a ‘quiet time’ in our job just a different focus to our work!

Sue Penlington Education Officer

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