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You are in: Norfolk » Fun Stuff » Webcams

Virtually afloat on the Norfolk Broads
This camera is now off-line. See a gallery of images taken throughout the 2004 summer season.

Picture: Mobile webcam image from Norfolk Broads

Broads Authority: Your visit to the Broads
Broads Authority: Boating on the Broads

Waterscape: The Broads

Tourism in Great Yarmouth

Great Yarmouth Borough Council

Visit Norfolk

Birdwatching on the Norfolk Coast

Norfolk Wildlife Trust

Webcams from across England

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Bullet point   The Broads have 200km of navigable waterways and 300km of public footpaths
Bullet point   The highest point on the Broads is 12m above sea level
Bullet point   Tourism spends more than £146m in the Broads area each year.

Source: Broads Authority

360° view of Hickling Broad

360° view of Ranworth Broad from St Helen's Church

360° view of the River Bure from Wroxham

Webcams at:

Millennium Plain

Great Yarmouth seafront

Norwich Market

Blakeney Cut

Atrium at The Forum

BBC Radio Norfolk studio

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The Broads is Britain's largest nationally protected wetland. Its rivers, broads, marshes and fens make it a unique area, rich in rare habitats for a myriad plants and animals.

This live webcam from is the first time mobile camera technology has been used on the Broads in this way.

Housed on a Broads Authority patrol launch, the camera will offer views from Breydon Water, the River Yare and the River Waveney.

Adrian Vernon is head navigation ranger with the Broads Authority.

"Breydon Water is an inland tidal estuary. The current runs fast at the Great Yarmouth end and there can be a large rise and fall of tide," he said.

"If there are high winds, particularly when they are blowing against the tide, it can get quite rough.

"The launch is staffed by two seasonal Navigation Rangers who are highly trained and particularly experienced in this sometimes challenging area.

"Their primary job is to assist and give advice to vessels crossing Breydon Water and those navigating the bridges at Great Yarmouth.

"If they weren't on patrol, more vessels would get stuck on the mud, or under bridges or stray into the commercial port area," he added.

Senior web producer Martin Barber said it has been an ambition to get a live webcam out on the water for some time.

"The Broads are such an important part of Norfolk life, both in terms of the money generated from tourism and local business'.

Picture: BBC Norfolk's Martin Barber with technician David Dodd
Web producer Martin Barber with technician David Dodd get the camera ship-shape.

"I wanted to find a way of sharing this beautiful part of the county with visitors to the website that went beyond simple photographs or our 360° interactive views," he said.

"I first looked at the idea of a boat based webcam a couple of years ago, but it's only recently that the mobile and camera technology became available to let us take the idea from aspiration to reality.

"Now for the first time, our mobile webcam will let people enjoy the Norfolk Broads experience wherever they live in the world," he added.

Managed by the Broads Authority, the Broads has special status.

It is one of the family of National Parks - for its blend of wildlife, distinctive landscapes and the opportunities for people to relax and enjoy themselves both on land and on the navigable waterways.

Breydon Water is four miles long, one mile wide and is a site of special scientific interest.

Navigation ranger, Joan Derhé is often stationed on the Breydon patrol craft.

"I think the webcam is a great idea," she said.

"We see a lot of wildlife, including seals, on Breydon. It's also quite different from the rest of the Broads in that's it's very open and a lot wilder than many of the rivers.

Joan Derhe navigates one of the bridges on the approach to Breydon Water
Navigation ranger Joan Derhé navigates one of the bridges on the approach to Breydon Water.

video Video clip from patrol craft on Breydon water. (Real G2)

Use the BBC Webwise guide to downloading realplayer.

"There's a lot of river traffic here, so you'll see a mix of hire boats, private vessels and some commercial craft.

"You'll also see lots of tourist trying to get to grips with navigating and having fun on the waterways.

"We get the occasional hen party too, let's just say they dress their boat in more than your regulation safety inflatables," she added.

The webcam installation has been a collaborative project for all concerned.

"Everybody involved has just been brilliant. It was a new idea that needed the help of all concerned to make it happen," said Martin Barber.

"From the Broads Authority who embraced the original idea, to the BBC resources staff and experts who developed the mobile camera technology.

"The final stages of the project have been about three months in development - let's just hope we now get some sunshine to show the Broads off at their best," he added.

The Breydon Water launch has finished for 2004. See a gallery of pictures taken throughout the season.

The mobile camera will return to a Broads location in 2005.


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