Norfolk Police traffic cone found on tiny Dutch island
- Credit: Henk Boschma and Ina Drok
Beach cleaners on a stunning island off the Dutch coast were surprised to come across an intrepid traffic cone that had come all the way from Norfolk.
Partners Henk Boschma and Ina Drok live on the island of Schiermonnikoog, most of which is designated a national park in the Netherlands to protect its nature and raw natural beauty.
They take it upon themselves to make sure the beach remains as clean as possible.
Ms Drok, 60, said: "During the summer we put big wooden boxes on the beach, where people can throw the garbage they find on the beach – garbage that has washed up on the shore.
"We are doing this on behalf of the community of Schiermonnikoog and the nature conservation society."
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Mr Boschma, 59, a financial accountant at the local village hall, regularly takes his tractor to empty the boxes, often helped by his partner.
That's what they were doing on Saturday, July 10, when they came across a yellow traffic cone.
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The cone, which was covered with hundreds of barnacles, was marked with 'Norfolk Constabulary' at the top.
Ms Drok, a district nurse, said she and her partner regularly volunteer to help keep their island clean.
She said: "A a son of a farmer, Henk likes to drive the tractor of the township. He uses it to empty the boxes. That's how we found this traffic cone.
"There is a lot of nature on Schiermonnikoog, and we like to walk or bike.
"Sometimes we carry a bag to collect the garbage, and sometimes we just enjoy the beauty of our island.
"The beach pollution is a worldwide problem – it's a small contribution we can do."
This traffic cone isn't the only thing from Norfolk to be randomly discovered in Europe – last year, a car from a dealership near Snetterton was found abandoned in the arctic circle close to the Norwegian city of Tromso.
Cones' place in Norfolk folklore is already secure after an episode of I'm Alan Partridge which saw Alan get in hot water with Norfolk Police when he tried to steal a cone from the roadside - sparking a flurry of cone puns from his radio colleague, Dave Clifton.
Just 10 miles long and 2.5 miles wide, Schiermonnikoog is one of the small Wadden Islands off the northern coast of the Netherlands.
It is the site of the country's first national park, which covers much of the island's area – omitting only the more densely-populated village.
The Netherlands Board of Tourism claims the island's Rif sandbar is the widest beach in Europe, as it's 1.5km across in some places.
It has a population of only around 1,000 permanent residents, though it is visited by around 300,000 tourists every year. Approximately 4,000 per day visit in the peak of the summer.
Visitors can head to the island by ferry, but they cannot take their own vehicles as the island is almost completely car free.
Instead, around 5,000 bicycles are available for rent, while a fleet of six electric buses help take people around the island.
These environmental measures help ensure the island and its nature are protected as much as possible.