Fifth generation joins family in harvesting timeless fields of gold
- Credit: Kate Wolstenholme
Every year, when the birds have fledged and the days have drawn in, the Bishop family heads out to cut the golden reeds of the Norfolk Wildlife Trust Cley Marshes.
Marsh warden Bernard Bishop has been cutting reed on this stunning patch of land in North Norfolk for 65 years, becoming warden in 1979. Now his grandson Ben has joined his father, grandfather and uncle as the fifth generation to cut the reed.
Around 4000 reed bundles are harvested each year and sold on to local thatchers. New growth begins the following March, as birds nest, before reaching full height in September and being harvested in December.
Purchased in 1926 by the Norfolk Wildlife Trust, the marshes became a form of nature conservation which was replicated across the UK. Now, the 300 hectare coastal reserve attracts more then 110,000 visitors every year - and that's not including the feathered ones.