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New bird hide opens!

5 Apr 2018


Areas of the Wensum Valley, which have never been accessible to our visitors, will now be on display thanks to the opening of our new wetland bird hide!

Our hide, which officially opens to visitors on Friday 6th April 2018, overlooks newly opened wetland areas and marks the first time in over a decade that we have revealed new parts of our 700-acre Estate to visitors.

This stretch of the River Wensum and its surrounding wetlands is home to species such as Bitterns, Reed Warblers, Marsh Harriers, Reed Buntings, Otters and Cranes. Our team manage the area to encourage waders to breed, however we have already had sightings of Garganey and Great Egrets, which is very promising for sights to come.

The bird hide is the result of a £53,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to open a window on the wonders of the Wensum, and includes extra-large, expansive viewing panels, plenty of seating and room enough to accommodate an entire classroom of pupils.

The hide has been adorned with interpretation panels, which carry illustrations by the acclaimed artist and illustrator Tim Wootton, a former winner of Young European Bird Artist of the Year and BBC Wildlife Magazine Wildlife Artist of the Year. The panels focus on four habitats, wetlands, woodlands, farmland and grassland, which paint the picture of the diverse habitats visitors can see at Pensthorpe. They are also panels specifically designed to appeal to our younger visitors introducing characters such as: Grus, the Common Crane; Purrr-dy, the Turtle Dove; Gracey, the Grass Snake and; Queenie, the White-tailed Bumblebee.

There is also a second new hide, a smaller farmland hide, which overlooks the Estate’s arable fields promising views of Kestrels, Yellowhammers, Red-legged Partridges and Lapwings.

This brings the total number of hides at our Park to eight and, as a result, has created volunteering and employment opportunities at the reserve.