Wild weekend in store at stately home

Mannington Hall Gardening Feature with Lord and Lady Walpole. Pictured are the lawns.Picture: MARK B

Mannington Hall Gardening Feature with Lord and Lady Walpole. Pictured are the lawns.Picture: MARK BULLIMORE - Credit: Archant

The grounds of a north Norfolk stately home will be given over to wildlife at the weekend.

Mannington Hall, home of wildlife lovers Lord and Lady Walpole, is hosting the third Norfolk Bird and Wildlife Fair, on May 21 and 22, with profits going to the Norfolk Wildlife Trust.

Among many wildlife charities at the event will be the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) which will once again be setting mist nets to catch and ring birds on the site.

At the past two fairs the BTO's haul of more than 70 birds has included tree creepers, long-tailed tits, blackcaps, whitethroats and reed buntings.

Children's activities will include pond dipping and badger mask making, a frog trail, and 'cone critter crafts.'


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The Raptor Trust will be bringing along owls, and Wild Touch, a rescue centre in Great Yarmouth, will also have wildlife on show.

The programme, which runs from 9am to 5pm on both days, features a number of short lectures on topics ranging from Norfolk bats in churches, Falkland Islands wildlife, and endemic waders of New Zealand, to Norfolk's marine protection areas, getting the best out of DSLR photography, and Norfolk badgers.

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Stalls will offer a wide range of wildlife-related items from binoculars and telescopes, travel and tour guides, and clothing, to photographic prints, sculptures and books. The fairs are organised by professional wildlife photographers Rob and Jill Wilson, who run Rapture Photographics, in St John's Close, Norwich.

'Norfolk's such a great county for wildlife and it's so important. We are very passionate about it,' said Mrs Wilson.

Entry is £10 at the gate, under 16s free, or £8 in advance from Rapture or online at www.norfolkbirdfair.com

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