Broads sensory teepee and pond-dipping at first Royal Norfolk Show Broads village

Royal Norfolk Show 2016 - Launch of the first ever Broads Village at the RNS 2016 - from left, John

Royal Norfolk Show 2016 - Launch of the first ever Broads Village at the RNS 2016 - from left, John Timewell, John Packman, Lois Baugh and Jaquie Burgess. Picture: Matthew Usher.

A corner of the Broads was transported to dry land as the Royal Norfolk Show's first village focusing on the waterways was launched.

The Broads Authority's Broads Village was officially opened yesterday morning as a celebration of the region's treasured network of rivers and lakes.

An Edwardian wooden boat bobbed on a lake at the village's centre while families perused stands and enjoyed pond-dipping.

The village is the first of its kind and includes a Broads breathing space experience – a teepee complete with the relaxing sounds and sights of being out on the water.

As it was launched, John Packman, chief executive of the authority, said: 'The village has turned out even better than we imagined. 'I'm hoping it will be a huge success and will pave the way for future experiences like this.'

Chairman Jacquie Burgess added: 'The purpose of the Broads village is to promote the Broads National Park to our local community and visitors and to show how we are looking after the Broads and this very special landscape.'

She said the Broads were a 'very special' member of the 15 national parks around the country and said the village – which is at the junction of avenue one and first drive – showcased the expanse's 'cultural heritage, natural heritage and biodiversity'.

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And although the Edwardian launch Liana remained stationary for the day, visitors were able to sit on board and learn about trips from Hoveton Visitor Centre. Louis Baugh, of the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association (RNAA), said: 'The Broads are one of the most instantly recognisable visitor destinations in the country.

'It is a special place in people's hearts.'

While many Broads tourism businesses were busy extolling the virtues of the wetlands, attractions from further afield – including Banham Zoo and Holkham Hall – were also celebrating the region's offering at the tourism village across the showground.

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