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Archive for June, 2008

I am in love with nature this time of the year. Colours, light, fragrance, growth… it’s overwhelming. This is what it looks like around our village:

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Beans Boat Trips offer great Seal trips starting at Blakeney, on the North Norfolk coast.

“Why not join us on one of our daily boat trips when you visit North Norfolk and see the SEALS & BIRDS in their natural environment at BLAKENEY POINT. Beans Seal Trips have been a family run business for over 50 years and are a very popular and safe way to enjoy a close up view of the wildlife – without disturbing it. We run every day throughout the season (1st April until 31st October) as well as regularly throughout the winter.

After a short boat ride we arrive at the seals. They are usually basking on the sandbanks at the far end of Blakeney Point. We guarantee you will always see some seals – the question is: How Many?? The colony is made up of Common & Grey seals and numbers around 500. Common seals have their young between June and August, the Greys between November and January. Both suckle their pups for about three weeks during which time they grow very quickly, putting on between 1kg and 1.6kgs a day due to the very rich and fatty milk they feed on.

The seals are generally quite inquisitive and often pop up and swim around the boats for a look at us!
Seals generally spend up to 90% of their lives out of the water basking on the sandbanks. The females usually outlive the males: 35 years is about the maximum for them and 25 years for the males. Although very clumsy and cumbersome on land, once in the water, seals can be very agile, reaching speeds of up to 20mph. They can also submerge for up to 30 minutes if necessary and in certain waters have been recorded diving to a depth of 600ft (300 metres). Generally though, it’s a quick 3 – 5 minute dive for fish which the seals locate in the water not only by sight but also by feeling vibrations through their whiskers. Seals tend to feed out at sea although some of their favourites – flounders, white bait and sand eels – are often found in the Harbour. An average size seal can often take up to 10lb (22kgs) of fish in a day.”

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This is the best time of the year to visit Sheringham Park, when its rhododendrons show their spectacular flowers.


The park offers fabulous displays of rhododendrons and azaleas; mature woodlands, with rare trees and shrubs;a Gazebo and viewing towers with fantastic coastal vistas and miles of scenic countryside paths.

The park was designed in 1812 by Humphrey Repton, one of the great landscape gardeners who followed Capability Brown. In all he created some 200 gardens and parks but it is said that Sheringham was his favourite and ‘darling child’. This garden is particularly famous as one of Humphry Repton’s greatest achievements. Planting began from 1850’s onwards. Repton’s principal design was to plant newly imported species of rhododendron and azaleas and this he achieved with great success. Humphry Repton was the first to use the term “landscape gardening” . E. H. Wilson added a collection of plants from China in the early 1900’s.

English Landscape Architecture / Landscape Garden
In the 18th century, England became the focus of a new style of landscape design. Figures such as William Kent, Humphry Repton, and most famously Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown remodelled the great estate parks of the English gentry to resemble a neat and tidy version of nature. Many of these parks remain today. The term ‘landscape architecture’ was first used by the Scotsman Gilbert Laing Meason in the title of his book on The Landscape Architecture of the Great Painters of Italy (London, 1828). It was about the type of architecture found in landscape paintings. The term “landscape architecture” was then taken up by JC Loudon and AJ Downing.

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