Safeguarding Norfolk's great outdoors - September 2015

NCC logo

ISSUE September 2015

Environment Team News

coast path

Environment Team continues to deliver fantastic benefits for Norfolk and value for taxpayers.  Our success in attracting external funding continues, and you can read about our European funded “COOL Tourism” project and Heritage Lottery Funded “Wildlife Recorders of Tomorrow” in this issue.

Autumn is a great time to enjoy Norfolk’s beautiful outdoors – why not sign up for one of our Walking Festival events at the coast? The Festival runs from 17th October to 1st November.  

Environment Team, Norfolk County Council

We're recruiting...

Damselfly (c) Nick Ford
Damselfly by Nick Ford

Are you interested in wildlife?  Live close to the Brecks or visit regularly? Norfolk Biodiversity Information Service (NBIS) hosted by Environment Team is looking for new volunteers to help record the distinctive biodiversity of Breckland, which studies have already shown is a hotspot for rarities. 

Our "Wildlife Recorders of Tomorrow” project is part of the “Breaking New Ground Landscape Partnership Scheme” supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.  Whether you're a complete beginner or a seasoned surveyor there is an opportunity for you! Read more here and register your interest by emailing Project Officer Sam Neal at

Meanwhile, please send in your sightings of any wildlife spotted in the Brecks direct to NBIS using this link

How COOL is that?

Weavers' Way
Weavers' Way copyright Norfolk County Council

The COOL Tourism project which has just ended has delivered some great results for rural tourism and local businesses.  The project has been run by Norfolk Trails at Environment Team and brought £220,000 of European Regional Development funding to Norfolk over a 3 year period.  The project has

  • Developed a toolkit and training workshops for businesses to help them develop opportunities that offer a great visitor experience whilst caring for the environments that created them.  
  • Recruited local volunteers who have adopted short sections of the Paston Way and Weavers' Way Trails. COOL funding has allowed Norfolk Trails to develop new strategies to recruit and retain these much-appreciated volunteers.
  • Rolled out the 'Walkers are Welcome' initiative to Cromer and Aylsham

Project officer Laura Timewell said: "COOL funding has helped 'bump up' visitor numbers to the Norfolk Trails so that our trails are now in the "Top 10" of tourist attractions in the county, putting us in the same league as Banham Zoo and Norfolk Showground.  We are particularly proud of the relationships we have made with local businesses and residents which we will nurture through funding bids ongoing at Environment Team." 

15,000 species in Norfolk

shaggy ink caps
Shaggy inkcaps by Pat Lorber

A staggering 15,000 different species have been recorded in Norfolk, a new report from NBIS shows. If you have ever wondered how much saltmarsh there is in the county or how many beetles species have been recorded or what rarities have turned up recently then this is the place to find the answers along with many other fascinating and important statistics about Norfolk's natural environment. 

The "State of the Natural Environment in Norfolk" report was collated and authored by Assistant Biodiversity Officer Lizzy Oddy using information on the NBIS database, the definitive dataset for information on biodiversity, geodiversity, habitats and protected sites in Norfolk.  The database currently holds 2.2 million records. 

Window on the AONB

The Norfolk Coast Partnership has launched a 'window' on the Norfolk Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).  This new facility on the refreshed Partnership website provides quick links to tips and topical information. New items featured include a link to the report and audit of 1,300 ponds in the area and ten information sheets on the habitats of the coast, from coastal dunes to rivers, from maritime cliffs to intertidal habitats. 

Have a look here


Unsightly wires call

Wires being taken down at Dersingham Bog Norfolk Coast Partnership/UK Power Networks
Wires being taken down at Dersingham Bog (Norfolk Coast Partnership/UK Power Networks)

The Norfolk Coast Partnership has a funded scheme for replacing overhead lines with underground cables for visual amenity in the area.  If you have any suggestions of places that would benefit, please contact Estelle Hook. 

Our service areas:  


Historic Environment Record

Identification & Recording

Norfolk Trails

Planning Advice

Projects (grants)

Trees and Woodlands

Norfolk Coast Partnership

Meet the team 


In this issue we introduce Laura Timewell.  Laura is Project Officer for the COOL Tourism, Proximity Tourism and the Explore More Coast projects.
Laura says: “Each project has a different set of deliverables but the same theme runs throughout - making improvements to the green infrastructure we manage and helping to equip our businesses with the skills and knowledge they need in order to thrive. I commission training in areas businesses need to develop, such as social media, online marketing and the new “Tourism for All” initiative. A big part of my team’s role is to identify funding streams and develop bids.  Whilst I assist with this area of work, I also help coordinate the "Improving Countryside Access Together" (ICAT Norfolk) team, which is a registered Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) and an 'extension' of the Norfolk Local Access Forum (NLAF). 

In my spare time (I don't have much!), I am a Trustee and District Commissioner for Girlguiding UK as well as a Brown Owl and Guide Leader, I Chair Gorleston Theatre Company, teach Dancing (tap, ballet, modern & jazz) and choreograph both professional and amateur shows in East Anglia & Suffolk! I enjoy peaceful walks along the Coast and a spot of canoeing, when I can, on the Broads!
Laura Timewell

Things to do

walking festival

1.  Book for Norfolk's Walking Festival.

Choose from a wide selection of fascinating themed guided walks along the north east Norfolk coast.  The Festival runs from October 17th to 1st November. 

For all the latest news from Norfolk Trails, check out Twitter . 

old catton grid square

2. Norfolk Biodiversity Information Service (NBIS) is putting the spotlight onto grid square TG2311 in Old Catton this September, an area that contains the south-east part of Catton Park as well as some of the residential area beside it.   What wildlife have you spotted there?  All records sent in will be added to the NBIS database.  Click here  to see a a bigger map and find out more. 


 3. Check out Historic Environment Service's Find of the Month (see picture above) a Palaeolithic ovate hand axe found on the surface of a ploughed field near Wymondham.

Environment Team

Working with you to safeguard Norfolk's great outdoors.