How Hill House, situated in the heart of Norfolk,
has been described as a unique microcosm of the Broads with its range of nationally
and internationally important wildlife.
important estate and nature reserve. Photo - Broads Authority.|
The Norfolk Broads are unique in that they are England's only wetland
in the National Park family.
In fact, the designation of How Hill as a
National Nature Reserve (NNR) was presided over by our very own Chris Packham
in May 2006.
How Hill House is surrounded by a 365 acre estate of open fen,
wet and dry woodland, rush pasture, fen meadow and two areas of open waters, comprising
nature trails, riverside paths and a woodland garden.
Most of the estate
is included in the Broads Special Area of Conservation and is a protected site
for birdlife, including Marsh Harriers, Kingfishers, Bearded Tits and even Herons
found here all year round.
over 25,000 visitors a year, How Hill is a popular spot for butterflies, including
the rare Swallowtail which is only found in the Norfolk Broads.
perfect habitat for Swallowtails, Britain's largest butterfly, as they lay their
eggs on milk parsley so when the caterpillars hatch they have something to eat.
Swallowtail gets its name from the shape of its hind-wings which look like a swallow's
tail, and have a pair of eye-like patterns printed on them.
mimic the head and antennae of the butterfly, confusing any bird which tries to
prey upon it and giving the Swallowtail a better chance of getting away.
good Norfolk reserves where you can spot the Swallowtails are Catfield
Fen and Wheatfen
found at How Hill are Norfolk Hawker Dragonflies, which breed in only a handful
of places and emerge for just a few weeks each summer.
have striking bright green eyes and a yellow triangle on their backs, making them
easy to pick out.
Unlike butterflies, Dragonflies are ambush predators and
feed on insect larvae, water-fleas, snails, tadpoles and even small fish.
often found in ditches and dykes where their food supply is plentiful and this
is also where they like to breed.
Look for them darting over the water areas.
look a little deeper under the water, and a whole new underwater world emerges
with creatures such as Water Scorpion and Cadis Fly.
Images of the Broads and butterflies
courtesy and copyright of the Broads Authority.