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Children from Holt Primary School meet the Queen’s cousin, the Duke of Kent, during flying visit to North Norfolk

PUBLISHED: 16:58 30 March 2017 | UPDATED: 16:59 30 March 2017

The Duke of Kent meets Jenny Stride, lead tutor, and Holt Primary School children during his visit to Holt Hall Environmental & Outdoor Learning Centre.  Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The Duke of Kent meets Jenny Stride, lead tutor, and Holt Primary School children during his visit to Holt Hall Environmental & Outdoor Learning Centre. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Copyright: Archant 2017

The Duke of Kent chose the warmest day of the year so far to be shown around an outdoor learning centre in north Norfolk.

The Duke of Kent arrives for his visit to Holt Hall Environmental & Outdoor Learning Centre, meeting Mike Roper, head of outdoor centres for Educator Solutions.  Picture: DENISE BRADLEY The Duke of Kent arrives for his visit to Holt Hall Environmental & Outdoor Learning Centre, meeting Mike Roper, head of outdoor centres for Educator Solutions. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The Queen’s first cousin arrived by helicopter at Holt Hall on the morning of Thursday, March 30, and spent about 40 minutes talking to staff, children and volunteers.

The Duke of Kent arrives for his visit to Holt Hall Environmental & Outdoor Learning Centre. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY The Duke of Kent arrives for his visit to Holt Hall Environmental & Outdoor Learning Centre. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

He was waved goodbye by youngsters from Holt Primary School who are learning new skills and enjoying themselsves at the environmental and outdoor learning centre, in Kelling Road, on the edge of the town.

The Duke of Kent arrives for his visit to Holt Hall Environmental & Outdoor Learning Centre.  Picture: DENISE BRADLEY The Duke of Kent arrives for his visit to Holt Hall Environmental & Outdoor Learning Centre. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The centre is run by Norfolk County Council-owned Educator Solutions whose head of outdoor centres, Mike Roper, said the duke seemed to enjoy himself.

The Duke of Kent arrives for his visit to Holt Hall Environmental & Outdoor Learning Centre.  Picture: DENISE BRADLEY The Duke of Kent arrives for his visit to Holt Hall Environmental & Outdoor Learning Centre. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

He said: “We were talking about what a fantastic opportunity it is for the children to explore the space here. He was very interested in the history of the centre and it being a Victorian building, and that we grew a lot in the garden which is used in the kitchen.”

The Duke of Kent, with Mike Roper, head of outdoor centres for Educator Solutions, during the Duke's visit to Holt Hall Environmental & Outdoor Learning Centre.  Picture: DENISE BRADLEY The Duke of Kent, with Mike Roper, head of outdoor centres for Educator Solutions, during the Duke's visit to Holt Hall Environmental & Outdoor Learning Centre. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Kirsty Simmons, Holt primary’s geography and outdoor learning subject leader, said all the children could be involved in exploring the centre.

The Duke of Kent meets volunteer gardeners, Helen Banham and Andrew Verney, during his visit to Holt Hall Environmental & Outdoor Learning Centre.  Picture: DENISE BRADLEY The Duke of Kent meets volunteer gardeners, Helen Banham and Andrew Verney, during his visit to Holt Hall Environmental & Outdoor Learning Centre. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

“It was the third year that year five from the school visited, and the children were all very excited to meet the duke,” she added.

The Duke of Kent meets Toby Jones, left, apprentice groundsman, and volunteer gardeners, Helen Banham, and Andrew Verney, right, with Ben Grange grounds manager, during the Duke's visit to Holt Hall Environmental & Outdoor Learning Centre.  Picture: DENISE BRADLEY The Duke of Kent meets Toby Jones, left, apprentice groundsman, and volunteer gardeners, Helen Banham, and Andrew Verney, right, with Ben Grange grounds manager, during the Duke's visit to Holt Hall Environmental & Outdoor Learning Centre. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

One of those chatting to the duke was Toby Jones, an apprentice who is training to be a tree surgeon at Easton College.

Holt Primary School children wave goodbye to the Duke of Kent as he leaves Holt Hall Environmental & Outdoor Learning Centre.  Picture: DENISE BRADLEY Holt Primary School children wave goodbye to the Duke of Kent as he leaves Holt Hall Environmental & Outdoor Learning Centre. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

“He asked us what we did and he seemed very interested,” he said.

The duke watched the children orienteering and enjoyed a coffee with staff.

One of the pupils, Chloe Wright, 10, said: “It was good meeting him and he said he had enjoyed the trip.”

Sareth Caceres, also 10, added: “It was good meeting the duke.”

He was met on arrival by the Vice Lord-Lieutenant of Norfolk, Lady Romney, and also met the chairman of North Norfolk District Council, John Lee.

During his visit, he toured the grounds and historic hall, including the woodlands, Victorian-walled garden and rear lawns, meeting staff members and centre visitors.

Holt Hall is set in 75 acres of ancient woodland, lawns, lakes and gardens close to the north Norfolk coast. It provides high quality residential and day visit experiences in north Norfolk for schools, colleges and universities from around the UK.

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