BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.

27 November 2014
NorfolkNorfolk

BBC Homepage
England
»Norfolk
News
Sport
Weather
Travel News

Entertainment
Features
In Pictures
Faith
Kids
Voices

Saving Planet Earth
How We Built Britain

BBC Local Radio

Site Contents 

Contact Us


FEATURES: NATURE & SCIENCE
You are in: Norfolk > Nature & Science > Whitlingham Nature Walk > Stage 3
Picture: Common Blue damselfly
Damsel flies can be seen in abundance around the Great Broad

To reach the second stop on the circular walk around the Great Broad, just follow the path east (away from Norwich) along the southern shore.

The first bridge you come to, spanning a small dyke, is the second stop on our nature tour.

PREVIOUS
1 2 3 4 5 6
NEXT

From the bridge at stop number two, you are standing over a small dyke. Dykes have been a key feature of Broadland over the last few centuries.

The dykes were not only a system of internal waterways for transporting reed and sedge, but they were important to farmers for controlling grazing cattle.

The farmers also used the dykes to control the water levels and to act as hedges in the wetland.

The dykes are well populated with flora, including Water Mint, Water Forget-me-Knot and the poisonous Water Droplet.

Wildlife habitat

In addition to the plantlife, the dykes are also rich in wildlife making an ideal habitat for damsel and dragonflies.

It's thought there are 17 species of damselflies to be found in Great Britain. At Whitlingham Great Broad you'll see many of the Common Blue (Enallagma cyathigerum). With a wingspan around 40mm, they live on small insects.

On a warm day at the country park, you'll also see many dragonflies flying around at high speed. With their characteristic long thin bodies, they have four large wings held out to the sides and two large compound eyes.

In addition to a water-based habitat, dragonflies can also be found in woodland clearings, such as the wildflower meadow just the other side of Whitlingham Wood which you can visit if you take our history tour around the park.

Bee orchid

If you turn 180° away from the Great Broad, just on the other side of the road, is an area of picnic meadow.

During the summer months it's possible to find the Bee Orchid (Ophrys apifera) here, which feature a furry lower petal with pale yellow markings giving it a resemblance to a bumblebee.

The woodland area that can be viewed in the distance is situated on an escarpment (a continuous steep face of a ridge or plateau formed by erosion), rising above the flood plain of the River Yare, which hugs the northern and eastern edges of the country park.

To continue the tour, carry along the path to the far end of the Great Broad.

If you're in need of a breather, there's a commemorative bench just a few metres after the bridge.

 

PREVIOUS
1 2 3 4 5 6
NEXT
You are in: Norfolk > Nature & Science > Whitlingham Nature Walk > Stage 3
Return to homepage
HOME
E-mail your comments to norfolk@bbc.co.uk
E-MAIL
Print out this page
PRINT
Return to the top of the page
TOP
SITE CONTENTS
Return to start of walk
map of the walk
Enlarge this map Enlarge map
Print map
Print this page
or ..
Print the entire walk
WHITLINGHAM VIDEO TOUR Realplayer required
SEE ALSO
Take the Whitlingham history walk
360° view of Whitlingham Great Broad
Norfolk science: A is for Albert Einstein
On bbc.co.uk
Take a neighbouring Walk Through Time - Cambridge, Ipswich, Lincoln
BBC Nature: The best UK widlife to be found this month
Rest of the web
The Broads Authority
Norfolk Wildlife Trust
Norfolk Museums & Archaeology Service
RSPB in the Eastern Counties
British Trust for Ornithology
Walks in the Norfolk countryside

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external websites

On Science & Nature
Fox illustration, on Science & Nature
More walks through time and amazing wildlife.
Find another walk
Explore wildlife habitats
The TV series:
British Isles, a Natural History
Visit Open2.net's Natural History section
Snail
Get more from your walk,
with the Open University.
bullet point Get active - the Great Snail Hunt
bullet point What does that mean? - a natural history glossary
bullet point Get into nature - the science you need to know
bullet point How do they know that? - explore nature's secrets
bullet point Become a Landscape Detective - Free Leaflets!

BBC Norfolk website, The Forum, Millennium Plain, Norwich, NR2 1BH
Telephone: 01603 617411 | Minicom: 01603 632242 | e-mail: norfolk@bbc.co.uk


About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy