Hundreds of visitors have been flocking to Barton Broad today to try their hand at a variety of alfresco activities as part of the Broads Outdoor Festival.

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Sailing trips, storytelling, pond dipping, reed dressing and minibeast hunting have all been on offer at the Barton Turf Adventure Centre as part of its Go Wild event, which aims to show visitors the variety of attractions and activities on offer on Norfolk’s famous wetlands.

Gemma Walker, wildlife and community officer at the Norfolk Wildlife Trust - which organised the event - said families had been keen to get out on the water with trips on the historic wherry Norada and the Falcon steam boat proving particularly popular.

“Despite the cloudy start and drizzle at the beginning people are still coming out, which is brilliant,” she added. “We had about 400 people through in the first couple of hours.”

But the boats are not the only star attraction as visitors are also been eager to conjure up an appearance from some wriggly visitors, when the worm charming championships get under way.

Gemma said places for the competition had been snapped up quickly and 12 families would now be going head to head to draw as many worms out of the ground as possible.

Contestants use tools - including spades, their feet and even a trumpet - to mimic rain by tapping on the ground to bring out the worms.

Gemma said: “A couple of years ago the maximum number of worms charmed out was over 50 so they have got to try and beat that.”

● The activities run until 4pm.




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