Norfolk nature reserve lottery grant to be used to get people fit

Strumpshaw Fen Nature Reserve close to Brundall. Picture: James Bass

Strumpshaw Fen Nature Reserve close to Brundall. Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2014

It might not seem the most obvious location for physical exertion and keeping fit.

But a Norfolk nature reserve has unveiled a pioneering new scheme to encourage people to take exercise there.

As part of a £200,000 National Lottery project Strumphaw Fen, near Brundall, is taking part in a joint venture between the RSPB and Sport England called Active in Nature. The two-year project offers people the opportunity to cycle around its quiet countryside, with guided cycle tours.

And weekly Wild Runs are open for all. The smooth terrain provides perfect views of the River Yare and opportunities to see wintering wetland birds.

The route of just over three miles will pass the UK's largest corvid roost where upwards of 50,000 rooks, jackdaws and crows roost during the winter.

From April, people will also be able to take canoes out on to the Yare.

Ed Parnaby, Active in Nature project officer for Norfolk, said: 'This project presents the perfect opportunity for people who aren't keen on the gym or traditional fitness classes and would prefer to complete their New Year resolution surrounded by Norfolk's beautiful nature and wildlife – and at far less of the cost.'

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A month's worth of free taster events is taking place. The next ones are this Sunday, with the Wild Run at 9.30am and the guided bike ride at 11.30am. The events will also run at the same times the following Sunday.

What do you think of the idea? Write, giving full contact details, to Letters Editor, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE or email