Wildlife and walks

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Here are a six very special and interesting places in and around Scarning where you can walk and enjoy the wildlife.


We are in the NWT Mid Norfolk Local Group area
Secretary: Jacquie Fenn 01362 697783
For information about local activities see: www.norfolkwildlifetrust.org.uk/

Take Part in a Wildlife Survey You can help Norfolk's wildlife by taking part in a wildlife survey. Why? The surveys are fun and simple to take part in and offer the chance to use your local observations to help build up vital information for the future conservation of Norfolk's wildlife. Who? Anyone - you don't have to be an expert! How? Click HERE to read more.

Scarning Water Meadows

Water Meadow

Scarning Water Meadows is one of Scarning's recreational areas. Apart from the children's play area and the adult exercise equipment mentioned elswhere on the website, this is a great place to take a stroll or walk your dog.

What to look for: You can look out for many wild flowers including:Great Willowherb, water mint, Marsh Woundwort, Greater birds foot trefoil, Water chick weed and Spear plume thistle. Look at the flowers here

Directions: Scarning Water Meadows is to the west of East Dereham and just inside the Scarning Parish Boundary behind the Drayton Hall Estate.

Access: From Drayton Hall Lane take the footpath through the Estate (Ted Ellis Way) towards Dereham but before reaching Wash Bridge take the footpath to the right shortly after the last house. There are als other paths from the Estate which lead directly into the Meadows.

Did you know? Adjacent to the Meadows is Vicarage Park which was first laid out in 1678 and covered eight acres but by 1815 it had expanded several times and covered a hundred acres. Seventy acres were planted as parkland with walks to the church and to the southwest. Tree belts were added in 1838 and the watercourse was straightened in 1844. Beech hedges were planted within a moated site in the park by 1889. Part of area is now built over, part a public open space and part private gardens.

Two Egyptian geese visiting a field near the school. These feral birds are relatively common in Norfolk.

This Barn owl was just about to take off from its perch when it was captured on camera.

Hoe Bird Walk

Monthly walks of about 3 miles to record and observe birds and wildlife led by Janet Hatton of the NWT. Members have been going on this walk for 23 years and recording the changing wildlife scene. New members always welcome. The next one is on 16 May 2010 8am-9:15am. Those who went on the April Walk recorded 51 different birds!
Location: Meet in the lane at Grid Ref: TF 989 173 Cost: Free

East Dereham Rush Meadow

Site of Special Scientific Interest

English Nature and Anglian Water are working together on a five year project to restore a nationally important meadow adjacent to the East Dereham Sewage Treatment Works, which is jointly owned by Anglian Water and East Dereham Relief in Need Charity.

What to look for:Many special wet meadow plants can be found such as marsh orchid, marsh fern and bog bean and birds such as snipe and sedge warbler .

Directions: Rush Meadow is just outside East Dereham just over the Scarning Parish Boundary.The road leading to the Works is a few metres from the junction of New Inn Lane and Rushmeadow Road.

Access: Entrance is via a footpath alongside the stream to the left of the main gates to the Treatment Works.

Did you know? This area was important to the people of the parish in the 1830s for ‚€˜cutting fuel for firing and for depasturing cattle or geese.‚€™
You can find out about the current programme of work and other information at www.natureonthemap.org.uk/

NWT Scarning Fen

Site of Special Scientific Interest flowers

A unique small nature reserve with wonderful flora. It is very sensitive to trampling so please tread carefully.

What to look for: Spring/summer bog pimpernel, butterwort, marsh orchid, marsh helleborine, quaking grass, marsh pennywort, black bog-rush. Small red damselfly.
Autumn/winter mosses and liverworts.

Facilities: Information board.

Directions: NWT Scarning Fen is just outside East Dereham. Travel towards Swaffham on the A47. Pass Draytonhall Lane on the right and take the immediate left turn. Turn left again onto Fen Road and follow around to the nature reserve. Parking is on the roadside.
Public Transport The Swaffham - Dereham bus stops within a short walk of the nature reserve

Access: Entrance is over a stile next to the road.

Did you know? Local people grazed horses here until the 1960s.

NWT Lolly Moor

This tiny nature reserve is remarkable for the diversity of habitat and variety of flora contained in such a small area.

What to look for: Spring/summer lesser celandine, primrose, fragrant orchid, southern marsh orchid, marsh helleborine, twayblade.

Facilities: Information board and way-marked trail.

Directions: NWT Lolly Moor is 2km south of East Dereham. Leave East Dereham on the Toftwood to Westfield road and travel for 2km. The nature reserve is well hidden! Park on the left just before passing under the electricity pylon.

Access: Entrance is from the roadside via a path through scrub and over a stile. Caution - there is very limited parking available on the roadside verge.

Did you know? The site is leased to NWT from the Westfield Fuel Allotment Charity. In the past it was split into allotments allowing trustees to allocate grazing and fuel for the benefit of the poor of the parish.

NWT Hoe Rough

Site of Special Scientific Interest oak tree .

Meander through heathland and meadows to the edge of the River Whitewater. See the giant anthills, the crab apple trees and the heather.

What to look for: Spring/summer green-winged orchid, yellow rattle, cuckoo flower, bogbean, heather, common milkwort, bird‚€™s foot trefoil, meadow saxifrage. Broad-bodied chaser dragonfly, orange-tip butterfly. Adder.

Facilities: Information board and way-marked trail.

Directions: NWT Hoe Rough lies 4km north of East Dereham close to Gressenhall farm and workhouse. Take the B1110 East Dereham to Guist road and turn left after 3km onto the B1146 Fakenham road. The nature reserve is 1km ahead on the right, before crossing the river.
Public Transport The Dereham ‚€“ Fakenham bus stops near the nature reserve

Access: Entrance is from the small roadside car park. Caution ‚€“ vehicles travel at speed and visibility is poor on this stretch of road.

Did you know? The large anthills on the Rough indicate that this is an ancient meadow that has been grazed and left undisturbed by the plough.

NWT Honeypot Wood

Site of Special Scientific Interest Honeypot Wood

The small size and colourful plant life of NWT Honeypot Wood make for a fascinating walk. During WW2 this area was used for storing munitions for the adjacent Wendling airfield. There are overgrown concrete paths and abandoned structures.

What to look for: Spring/summer dog‚€™s mercury, wood anemone, twayblade, herb Paris, bluebell, hairy St John‚€™s wort.
oak, ash, field maple, hazel.

Facilities: Information board.

Directions: NWT Honeypot Wood is located 6km west of East Dereham. Leave the A47 at Wendling and Scarning and take the first left by the chapel. The road follows round to cross back over the A47 before reaching the wood, 1.5km on the left.

Access: Entrance from the roadside. Take care parking on the road.

Did you know? NWT Honeypot Wood is a wild wood remnant dating back to the retreat of the last ice age. The name derives from its proximity to a medieval sewage dump, or 'honey' pit.

Wild plant charity

Wild plant charity Plantlife www.plantlife.org.uk), are hoping to reach out to many wild plant enthusiasts and nature lovers by inviting them to become wild plant 'pioneers' and subscribe to a free quarterly e-learning bulletin to learn more about our native wild plants via the 'Wild About Plants' project website - www.wildaboutplants.org.uk . The Wild About Plants project aims to help people reconnect with the outdoors and their local greenspaces. Working with schools, families and communities from all walks of life and with fantastic free downloadable resources, the team hope to engage people with the nature on their doorstep. In recent years subscribers have been asked to record the plant life in their local area and recount what they used to see/pick and forage for. Wild About Plants is funded by Natural England through Access to Nature, as part of the Big Lottery Fund's Changing Spaces programme. It is a partnership project involving partner organisations throughout the country.