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'It's great to have this on your doorstep' - TV presenter praises Norfolk's rich birdlife at new event

PUBLISHED: 11:50 19 May 2019 | UPDATED: 11:51 19 May 2019

Pensthorpe Bird and Wildlife Fair 2019. MIke Dilger and reserve manager Richard Spowage leading one of the guided walks. Photo: Steve Adams

Pensthorpe Bird and Wildlife Fair 2019. MIke Dilger and reserve manager Richard Spowage leading one of the guided walks. Photo: Steve Adams

Steve Adams 2019 07398 238853

Over 1,000 visitors gathered at a Norfolk natural park on Saturday for the first day of a brand new fair, with more set to come through the doors today.

Pensthorpe Bird and Wildlife Fair 2019. Photo: Steve AdamsPensthorpe Bird and Wildlife Fair 2019. Photo: Steve Adams

The first ever Pensthorpe Bird and Wildlife Fair, held at the natural park near Fakenham, has been set up to try to highlight Norfolk as the birdwatching capital of Britain and celebrate the county's rich natural offering.

It features a range of expert speakers from TV including Bill Oddie, Simon King and Mike Dilger and had around 1,500 attend on Saturday.

Bill Jordan, owner of Pensthorpe Natural Park, said: "It's been great, we've had some top speakers which has been wonderful.

"Norfolk is so well known for wildlife and birding and it was suggested someone like Pensthorpe should have an event.

Pensthorpe Bird and Wildlife Fair 2019. Bill Oddie talking about his love of bird-watching. Photo: Steve AdamsPensthorpe Bird and Wildlife Fair 2019. Bill Oddie talking about his love of bird-watching. Photo: Steve Adams

"It's about getting people to know more about Norfolk so they might want to do more to help the environment and nature."

Reserve manager Richard Spowage also said: "This time of year is when most birds are in Norfolk. It's a really great time of year to get people into the county.

"Norfolk is a fantastic place for wildlife. It's something that should really be celebrated a lot more."

As well as talks from experts, the event has also featured guided walks around the reserve, special demonstrations and book signings.

Pensthorpe Bird and Wildlife Fair 2019. Mike Dilger Photo: Steve AdamsPensthorpe Bird and Wildlife Fair 2019. Mike Dilger Photo: Steve Adams

A percentage of the proceeds of the fair will also go to enhancing and protecting local wetland areas.

Mike Dilger, a wildlife reporter on the BBC's One Show, said: "I have been to Pensthorpe before and really enjoyed it. Norfolk is one of the best counties for birds, it's famous for it.

"I hope it will become a constant event in Norfolk, it's a wonderful location. The county should be shouting about the amazing nature and creatures here."

Simon King, who has presented shows including Big Cat Diary, Springwatch, Autumnwatch, also said: "It's been great, people can celebrate what the county has in terms of the natural world.

Pensthorpe Bird and Wildlife Fair 2019. MIke Dilger and Simon King with reserve manager Richard Spowage . Photo: Steve AdamsPensthorpe Bird and Wildlife Fair 2019. MIke Dilger and Simon King with reserve manager Richard Spowage . Photo: Steve Adams

"It's wonderful to have these things on the doorstep."

Plans are also in place to hold the event next year.

Pensthorpe Bird and Wildlife Fair 2019. Photo: Steve AdamsPensthorpe Bird and Wildlife Fair 2019. Photo: Steve Adams

Pensthorpe Bird and Wildlife Fair 2019. Eight year old Erin Durrant bird-watching with her dad Gavin. Photo: Steve AdamsPensthorpe Bird and Wildlife Fair 2019. Eight year old Erin Durrant bird-watching with her dad Gavin. Photo: Steve Adams

Pensthorpe Bird and Wildlife Fair 2019. Simon King. Photo: Steve AdamsPensthorpe Bird and Wildlife Fair 2019. Simon King. Photo: Steve Adams

Pensthorpe Bird and Wildlife Fair 2019. Photo: Steve AdamsPensthorpe Bird and Wildlife Fair 2019. Photo: Steve Adams

Pensthorpe Bird and Wildlife Fair 2019. Photo: Steve AdamsPensthorpe Bird and Wildlife Fair 2019. Photo: Steve Adams

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