For many years the lakes known as Norfolks Broads were regarded as a natural feature of the landscape. However, around 60 years ago researchers found that the Broads were not natural but indeed artificial. In the Middle Ages, the local monasteries began to excavate the peatlands as a turbary business, selling fuel to residents of Norfolk. Norfolk’s own cathedral alone reported to use 320,000 tonnes of peat per year for heating.
As the sea levels began to rise, and the pits began to flood, windpumps and dykes were built in an attempt to stop the flooding. Today, we are left with waterways with reedbeds, grazing marshes and wet woodland. As a local photographer I am spoilt with wind pumps, tranquil waters and ruined abbeys, along with big coastal skies and all are awaiting artistic photographers. I will be running photography workshops next year for the National Park Experience. On this workshop visitors will see it all, including an opportunity to photograph some of the UK rarest species such as the marsh harrier and swallowtail butterflies.
Over the next few months, I will be undertaking a special journey exploring my home county, and sharing, via a blog, images of the Broads National Park. My first location is Horsey. Horsey is a village on the Norfolk coast and within the Broads National Park. Along with the famous Horsey windpump, it’s also a great place to spot seals. The seals at Horsey usually start to have their pups in late October/early November and carry on until early February so there’s a big window of opportunity for you to visit the area. This is one little chap that caught my eye. I have called him “George”