Nature tours offer chance to explore 1,000-acre rewilding project
- Credit: Wild Ken Hill
A major rewilding project in west Norfolk has launched guided tours to help visitors enjoy the natural landscape - and understand this modern approach to conservation and regenerative farming.
More than 1,000 acres of farmland are being given back to nature at Wild Ken Hill, between Snettisham and Heacham, which has reintroduced beavers as well as grazing animals including Tamworth pigs, Exmoor ponies and red poll cattle in order to enhance the heathland habitats and improve biodiversity.
To showcase the wildlife and conservation efforts, and how they fit in with the farming operations on the 4,000-acre estate, a series of 14 new tours has been launched for small groups led by expert guides.
They range from detailed studies of "rewilding in practice" to explain the benefits of allowing nature to follow its own course, to family-friendly tours where children can dig for earthworms and find out more about the "micro beasts" living in the leaf litter and decaying trees.
Other tours will give visitors a chance to experience nature by night or the dawn chorus, get close to rare songbirds during bird-ringing demonstrations, discover butterflies and learn about the 800 different types of insects in the area.
There will also be a tour focusing on Norfolk’s only beavers, the dam-building "ecosystem engineers" which were reintroduced into a 60-acre fenced enclosure last year.
And there will be opportunities to encounter the rare-breed cattle, pigs and ponies which have been roaming free since November, aiming to replicate the mixed grazing, browsing and soil disturbance activities of the wild herbivores that wandered through this landscape thousands of years ago.
Project manager Dominic Buscall said: "We are delighted to be launching this set of guided tours and excited to welcome visitors into this special place.
"We have carefully designed the tours to offer fun, unique and inclusive experiences in nature – there should be something for everyone.
"We have a great group of inspiring and experienced guides ready to show our visitors around the beautiful landscape at Wild Ken Hill, pointing out some of the 2,600-plus species that we see here and explaining the work we do."
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