A Weekend in North Norfolk, 23 - 24 July 2022

This past weekend we took our motorhome up to the North Norfolk coast for a 2 day/1 night stop. Our wild camping spot for the Saturday night was the small elevated carpark at Wiveton Downs just inland of Blakeney.

Our first stop when we got up to the coast was East Runton where we did a walk over Incleborough Hill, down into West Runton and then along the beach back to East Runton. My main aim was to see the strange parasitic plant Dodder and it was hard to miss as it was draped over big areas of Gorse on the hill. Other than some Lucerne and Corn Marigold by the road in West Runton the other plant of note was Horse Mint along Beach Road. The Sand Martins were busy around the cliffs, an early returning Sanderling on the beach and a Red Kite was also seen. 

The other place I wanted to visit was Binham Priory where the rare Wall Bedstraw grows on the old walls. It was found readily and although a bit frazzled by the hot weather was still identifiable. Also around the site were Snapdragon, Pellitory of the Wall, Hoary Plantain and Smooth Hawksbeard. We were also treated to a lovely orchestra rehearsal in the priory church there and sat in the cool interior with a cup of tea! The small 'raw milk'  farmshop and cafe there were also rather nice with a cool cheese vending machine! 

We finished the day with a walk around Blakeney but it was very busy so we did a quick lap and headed up to Wiveton Downs for the evening/night. It was a beautifully peaceful night with just 2 other vans and friendly locals.


                                                                                                                             Horse Mint

                                                                                                                              Wall Bedstraw
                                                                                                                              Smooth Hawksbeard


Sunday began with a quick drive down to the Cley NWT carpark to twitch a Greater Sea-kale plant before heading inland to Holt Lowes. Here we parked on the free carpark on Hempstead Road and walked down to the wet valley mire on the heath. After a while Belinda got fed up with waiting arund for me sploshing about looking for plants so headed back to the van to chill and read. That left me to search for some rather special plants - and I found Alder Buckthorn, Lesser Skullcap (at it's only East Anglian site), Marsh St John's Wort, Star Sedge, Bog Pimpernel, Round-leaved Sundew, Marsh Lousewort and then just as I was about to head back - Marsh Arrowgrass. Almost a clean up! Keeled Skimmers were everywhere and then as I got back to the carpark a Red Longhorn Beetle was on a rotten stump and a Silver-washed Fritillary in the carpark. 

After a drink in the van I persuaded Belinda that we should head back to Cley for the adult Black-crowned Night Heron which had given itself up after not being seen all week. It showed well through Chris Small's and Phil Heath's scopes (cheers guys!) on Skirts Pool from the southern end of the East Bank. My first in Norfolk for many a long year and a fitting way to end a nice trip away.

                                                                                                                                 Lesser Skullcap
                                                                                                                                    Alder Buckthorn
                                                                                                                                   Bog Pimpernel
                                                                                                                              Marsh Arrowgrass
                                                                                                                           Round-leaved Sundew
                                                                                                                                 Star Sedge
                                                                                                                             Marsh Lousewort
                                                                                                                               Marsh St John's Wort
                                                                                                                                    Keeled Skimmer

                                                                                                                                   Greater Sea-kale
                                                                                                                                Red Longhorn Beetle

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