Bernard's 1000 windmills

With bitter air gusting in from the Russian Urals, Norfolk has long been considered the perfect place to harness the power of wind technology.Head north, south, east or west and sooner or later you will come across a wind farm feeding the national grid with environmentally-friendly energy.

With bitter air gusting in from the Russian Urals, Norfolk has long been considered the perfect place to harness the power of wind technology.

Head north, south, east or west and sooner or later you will come across a wind farm feeding the national grid with environmentally-friendly energy.

Schools, businesses and homeowners, too, are embracing the green revolution with slightly smaller models.

But only one man can boast a garden with 1,050 windmills. Sadly for Bernard Land, though, none of the energy generated goes into powering his home.

For 22 years, Mr Land has been collecting wood, bicycle tyres, metal propellers, wheel trims - anything he can find around Rocklands, near Attleborough, that he can use for his strange hobby.

Neighbours along his row of terraced bungalows have long since stopped complaining of the strange sight in their midst, where hundreds of mini windmills compete for the breeze in his front and back gardens.

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“I had 1,150 up at one time, but I began to realise that it was a bit over the top,” said the 79-year-old. “But I still have 1,050 and they'll stay here until I die.

“I started when I had a hip and knee replacement and needed something to do to stay active. I looked in my shed and found some wood and decided to make a windmill and I haven't stopped making them since.

“People often walk past the front garden and ask to see the ones at the back - everyone says how interesting they are. People don't complain any more.”

Having so many blades can be a health hazard though - especially when the wind is blowing strong.

“I'm not so steady on my feet any more and I've bumped into them quite a bit over the years.

“One time I was struck on my head just above my eye. If it had gone any lower I would have been blinded, but that's a risk I'm prepared to take.”

Mr Land, whose three grandchildren live across a field from his back garden, is a former agricultural worker who has lived in Rocklands all his life and in the bungalow since it was built in 1954.

And as for harnessing wind energy - that is something he believes is best left to the experts.

“I just like seeing the blades turning round and round - they're pretty things and that's all I care about, not electricity,” he said.

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