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29 October 2014

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You are in: Norfolk > Places > Places features > Video tour: Pensthorpe in the Wensum Valley

Pensthorpe co-owner Deb Jordan.

Deb Jordan at Pensthorpe's wader scrape

Video tour: Pensthorpe in the Wensum Valley

The Wensum Valley's sweeping beauty has been cast into the spotlight by BBC2's Springwatch. The River Wensum streams through Pensthorpe Nature Reserve where the show is based - co-owner Deb Jordan shares with us the area's treasures.

BBC2's Springwatch cameras have been focusing in on one of Norfolk's most picturesque river valleys during the show's stint at Pensthorpe Nature Reserve.

The Wensum Valley is characterised by the River Wensum which flows through it, rising in the north-west of the county near Fakenham and coursing south and eastwards to Norwich, where it merges with the River Yare at Whitlingham.

Baby coot at Pensthorpe (Photo by Gemma Keys)

Baby coot at Pensthorpe

The Wensum streams through the heart of Pensthorpe, helping to attract a diverse array of wildlife to the reserve which spans nearly 600 acres of farmland, breckland and lakes.

Area of conservation

In 2004 the River Wensum was made a European Special Area Of Conservation (SAC) to protect the animals and vegetation that flourish in the rich habitat of the river and its ribbon of surrounding valley.

The river was given Europe's highest nature conservation designation, in part, due to its remarkable chalk stream fauna which includes otters, white-clawed crayfish, dragonfly and damselfly species. The river's water quality also means that fish like the brown trout thrive.

Pensthorpe was created as a nature reserve by Bill Makins 20 years ago, before being bought by Bill and Deb Jordan, of Jordan Cereals, in 2003.

A European crane at Pensthorpe.

European cranes can be seen at the site

During excavations to create the lakes and wader scrapes, more than a million tonnes of aggregates were dug up.

The work unearthed some fascinating and ancient finds, such as a hand axe - which is thought to date back to 8000 BC - woolly mammoth tusks and a tooth.

Pensthorpe co-owner Deb Jordan shares with us the outstanding beauty of Pensthorpe, the Wensum Valley and its wildlife in this video tour.

last updated: 13/06/2008 at 17:51
created: 12/06/2008

You are in: Norfolk > Places > Places features > Video tour: Pensthorpe in the Wensum Valley

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