Norfolk Marshes

Shell man (1960s – 2019)

Derek’s interest in snails started at a young age, and whilst they are his main interest he has a keen interest in all wildlife including birds and butterflies. He has volunteered at Wheatfen Broad and has been involved with carrying out many marsh surveys including a five year study of Haddiscoe Island. My interest in […]

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Ships great and small (1870s to 2018)

Thelma’s family has a strong connection to the boatbuilding industry, including the building of wherries. One particular wherry dear to her heart is the wherry Maud. My grandfather William Henry Hall, a lively lad, his working life My grandfather was called William Henry Hall and he was born in Reedham in Norfolk in 1877. He […]

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Spreading the word about wildlife (1970s-2019)

Chris talks about his lifelong interest in birds, his involvement in various projects, particularly protecting little terns and the return of cranes during his long career working for the RSPB. He organises tours for people interested in finding out more about conservation and wildlife. I was born in Hendon, North London, and lived there with […]

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Story of an Irstead boy (1930s – 2018)

Alan describes family life, growing up on the marshes, in Irstead. Life in the cottage I had grandmother, aunts and uncles, and we all lived together in a cottage in Irstead. We didn’t have electricity or running water, but we had a lovely coal fire all year round. Let me explain the cottage. You went […]

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Studying the coypu (1970s)

Kurt worked at the Coypu Research Laboratory in Norwich, and he describes his work out on the marshes and the waterways. I came to Norfolk from Wales. I swapped the hills and valleys of Wales for flat lands of Norfolk and the big sky and that would be in 1972. I started at the Coypu […]

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Swans in the kitchen (1950-2017)

John tells of life on the Norfolk marshes – characters, wildlife and wildfowling. Life on the Marshes I moved from Cambridge to Brundall in about 1950. I lived in a little house which was next to the Lackford Run which is the stream that runs through from the River Yare and goes up through Braydeston. […]

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Teaching sailing in the 1960s. Hunter’s Yard. (1964 – 2019)

Jean combined her skills as a school teacher and sailing instructor, at Filby and Hunter’s Yard, for some years in the 1960’s I learnt to sail with the Sea Rangers in Norwich and at Whitlingham, at Norwich Amateur Rowing Club, in dinghies, mainly, various types of dinghies. In 1964 I was at Keswick Hall training […]

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The eight-year saga of Catfield Fen (2008-2016)

Tim and Geli Harris live at Catfield Hall and are in a continuing battle to preserve the unique wildlife of Catfield Fen, which has been described in its official conservation designation as ‘the finest valley fen in Western Europe’.  I met my wife Geli when we were both 17 and we’re now approaching 70, having been […]

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The making of Strumpshaw Fen (1960s – 2018)

Mike was already working for the RSPB when he got the opportunity, at very short notice, to get his own site, at Strumpshaw. He talks to us about arriving at the fen, initially living in a caravan on site and the years of work put into the development and maintenance of Strumpshaw Fen. I was […]

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