Archive for the ‘Environment’ Category

Video ~ Protecting King’s Lynn from flooding

A short film to show how the Environment Agency helps protect Kings Lynn from flooding.


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Dolphins seen in the river

Photo: Kevin Elfleet

Several short beaked dolphins have been photographed swimming along the River Great Ouse.

They are thought to have followed a school of fish in from the Wash. They are also known for swimming along with boats and particularly for riding the wave formed at a boat’s bow.

Short-beaked common dolphins are normally found in warm tropical waters, they are known to live in areas of the Atlantic, Pacific, and Southeast Indian Ocean.

Dolphins were once very common in our river, going back to the medieval period. We were also renowned for having quantities of sturgeon in the river.

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Local residents win £500 of vouchers every month for their recycling efforts

Voucher winners from June/July - 15 residents each month win vouchers for their recycling efforts.

Voucher winners from June/July – 15 residents each month win vouchers for their recycling efforts.

Residents of the Borough of King’s Lynn and West Norfolk have a chance to win £500 in vouchers every month just for recycling, thanks to a new scheme that was launched to households in May.

West Norfolk Recycling Rewards is open to all households in King’s Lynn and West Norfolk and is free to participate in, giving residents the chance to earn vouchers for themselves and donations for local charities and community projects.

Once residents activate their account for the scheme they are placed into one of five communities, depending on where they live, and can start to earn Green Points for their recycling efforts. The amount of rubbish and recycling produced by each of the five communities is measured, with those communities that are improving the most receiving the most Green Points. Residents are also able to earn extra Green Points for their community by reporting which materials they have recycled or reporting contamination via the Recycling Rewards website or contact centre.

Every month, the three residents in each community that have earned the most Green Points win a voucher for themselves from a choice of: Majestic Cinema, Marks & Spencer, Alive Leisure, National Garden Gift and iTunes. The top points-earner in each community wins a £50 voucher whilst each of the runners up receives a £25 voucher. Since the scheme launched, £1,000 worth of vouchers have been given out to residents, with Marks & Spencer and National Garden Gift vouchers proving to be the most popular.

Councillor Brian Long, Leader of King’s Lynn and West Norfolk Council and Cabinet Member for the environment, said “We want this scheme to motivate residents to do the right thing and recycle everything they can, so it’s great to see the efforts of those that go the extra mile get rewarded. Anyone in the Borough can join the scheme and there are plenty of chances to win vouchers, so it’s well worth getting involved.”

Among the first voucher winners was Rebecca Neave, who is part of the Southern and Downham Market Community, and chose a £25 Marks & Spencer voucher as her reward. She said “I was excited to get involved with this new green scheme as I am always trying to find ways for my family and I to cut down the amount of waste we produce. Recycling Rewards offers us a whole new incentive and I’m delighted to have won!”

Every 6 months there will also be prizes given to the communities that have earned the most Green Points – £1,500 will be awarded to first place, with £750 for two runners up. Members of the winning communities have the opportunity to vote for which of six local good causes they’d like to receive their community’s share of the prize money from a shortlist of: Festival Too, the Norfolk Hospice, Hospital Radio Lynn, The Rotary Club of King’s Lynn, West Norfolk Mind and Scotty’s Little Soldiers.

The scheme is open to all households in King’s Lynn and West Norfolk, with residents needing to activate their accounts to take part. They can activate online at or by calling 0207 326 5055 (Mon-Fri, 9am-5:30pm).

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Find out more about our local chalk rivers

River GaywoodThe local ‘river guardians’ are inviting people to come along to one of the following events to find out more about the Nine Chalk Rivers, please note that booking is essential for all events and suitable footwear strongly advisable:

Sunday, 5th June – Source of the Babingley, 2 mile walk and talk with Hydrogeologist Dr Tim Grapes and Abbey Farm Manager, Edward Cross a chance to see the chalk springs. See pdf for full details.

Sunday, 12th June – Gayton Circular walk taking in the source of the Gaywood River and is the perfect place for butterfly spotting. The walk is 4.5 miles and will be led by the Gaywood Valley Conservation Group. Sensible walking footwear strongly advisable. Booking essential! See pdf for full details.

Sunday, 19th June – Cockthorpe Circular Walk. Dr Jonah Tosney of the Norfolk Rivers Trust will be leading this walk taking in some of the River Stiffkey. Please note that this walk is 5.5 miles long and will begin from Morston National Trust car park (parking fees do apply for non-NT members) at 10 am. The walk does include a stile and varied terrain. Sensible walking footwear strongly advisable. Booking essential! See pdf for full details.

As spaces are limited, booking is essential for all of these events. Email or call 01328 850530 to reserve your place.

Anyone interested in becoming a River Guardian volunteer, should also get in touch.

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National award for Hunstanton beach

Hunstanton keep britain tidy blue flagHunstanton’s main beach has been awarded a Seaside Award for 2016 by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy.

Keep Britain Tidy’s Seaside Award recognises and rewards beaches in England that achieve the highest standards of beach management. Judges consider aspects such as the quality of facilities, information and presence of beach patrol as well as environmental management.

The Seaside Award Flag was received by Cllr Nockolds and Cllr Beal in Hunstanton.

Cllr Elizabeth Nockolds, borough council cabinet member for Culture, Heritage and Health, said: “We’re delighted that Hunstanton will once again be flying the Seaside Award Flag in 2016. This nationally-recognised award assures visitors that when they come to Hunstanton, they’re going to find a clean, safe, attractive and well-managed beach”.

For more information about the Seaside Award, visit

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Severe gales and snow forecast for Norfolk

Snow Gritter - Photo: Ian BrittonSevere gales are expected to sweep along the Norfolk coast overnight, with a high chance of snow inland. Feeling very cold everywhere, with a minimum temperature tonight of just 0 °C.

Tuesday is expected to be windy again with coastal gales, perhaps severe along the Norfolk and Suffolk coasts, and feeling cold everywhere. Showers will continue, sometimes heavy, also wintry inland at first. Maximum Temperature tomorrow 8 °C

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Air quality in West Norfolk shows improvements

Air Monitoring station, air qualityThe Borough Council of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk’s latest air quality report, Updating and Screening Assessment 2015, shows that there have been improvements in air quality within the borough.

Air quality levels across the borough for benzene, 1, 3-butadiene, carbon monoxide, lead, particulates (PM10) and sulphur dioxide were examined and found to be below the legal limits.

Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) monitoring has shown that during 2014 the annual mean objective level was exceeded at only two locations; one of which was inside the existing town centre Air Quality Management Area (AQMA). The other site was located at the bus station. At the bus station the hourly objective is most relevant and the annual mean measured suggests that it is unlikely that this would be exceeded at this location.

The borough has two AQMAs, one in the town centre and one at Gaywood clock.

Generally, there has been a decrease in NO2 levels in each AQMA, which shows an improvement in air quality. The new road layout along Hardwick Road and at the Southgates roundabout has improved traffic flows into the town centre and along London Road, helping improve air quality in this area. It is possible that the London Road part of the town centre AQMA can be revoked or amended due to these improvements. NO2 levels in the Railway Road part of the AQMA still continue to be close to objective levels.

Cllr Brian Long, borough council cabinet member for Environment, said: “Air quality in the borough continues to improve as all but one of the substances we monitor are at levels below the legal limit. I’m pleased that the work we have done to improve air quality in both areas has had significant results, especially along London Road. Nitrogen dioxide is still a concern though, so we continue to monitor our AQMAs very closely. We’re also continuing to implement the twenty measures in our Air Quality Action Plan that, in combination, aim to reduce traffic emissions in both the AQMAs”.

The report also considered new potential sources of air pollution including biomass boilers which are becoming increasingly popular. It was concluded that that none of the three biomass facilities reviewed, or other new potential sources, require further assessment.

The actions arising from the report are to continue current monitoring, and undertake further monitoring, at relevant receptors in the areas of Stoke Ferry and Page Stair Lane, King’s Lynn, using a Defra approved method to confirm existing concentrations; proceeding to a monitoring-based Detailed Assessment in these areas. The Detailed Assessment for the Page Stair Lane/docks area is already being undertaken by a consultant on behalf of the council.

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Recycling Advice for Residents

recycle plastic bottles photo: cARTerARTIn the run up to the Christmas season, the Borough Council of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk will be providing new information guides to residents to improve recycling.

Over the next 2-3 weeks, residents will receive their Christmas waste collection calendars, and on the reverse side will be useful information about how to reduce, re-use, and recycle Christmas waste.

In addition, all green recycling bins will also receive a sticker telling local people exactly what they can and can’t recycle.

The council’s cabinet member for Environment, Councillor Brian Long said;
“We are really grateful for the effort local people have taken to raise recycling rates, which have doubled in the last 10 years.

“Earlier this year we ran an online survey of our waste and recycling service and we were encouraged to find that local people wanted even more information to help them recycle better.”

“As a good, listening Council trying to protect our local environment, we really welcome the opportunity to positively make our recycling scheme crystal clear. With the help of our residents we are aiming to improve our recycling rate to meet and exceed the Government and EU target of 50% of our waste being recycled by 2020.”

In addition to the recycling information, the Council is an active member of the Norfolk Waste Partnership, which will also be introducing marketing and PR to improve plastics recycling before Christmas and into the New Year.

Cllr Long added some interesting plastic packaging recycling facts:

  • It takes 25 plastic drinks bottles to make a fleece top.
  • Recycling one bleach bottle saves enough energy to power a street light for 6½ hours
  • Recycling one shampoo bottle saves enough energy to toast 4½ rounds of bread
  • Recycled plastic bottles can transform into lots of new things such as children’s toys, t-shirts, fleeces, garden furniture and other plastic bottles.

“There’s lots of plastic packaging that can be recycled from around the home, they include:

  • Kitchen – drinks bottles, sauce bottles, washing up liquid bottles, kitchen cleaner bottles, laundry detergent, margarine/butter tubs, ice cream tubs, yoghurt pots, soup pots, meat trays, fruit punnets.
  • Bathroom – liquid soap bottles, mouth wash bottles, shower gel bottles, shampoo and conditioner bottles, bleach bottles, bathroom cleaner bottles.
  • Bedroom – moisturiser pots and tubs, body lotion bottles, talcum powder bottles.”

Norfolk’s recycling centres also accept lots of materials for recycling. Visit to find your nearest site and what you can recycle there.

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Local MP pledges support to slaughterhouse campaign

Henry Bellingham with Animal Aid's Kate Fowler

Henry Bellingham with Animal Aid’s Kate Fowler

North West Norfolk MP, Henry Bellingham, has pledged his support to the campaign for mandatory CCTV inside UK slaughterhouses.

The campaign – which has widespread political and public support – was launched by Animal Aid, after five-years of investigating animal welfare breaches inside British slaughterhouses. The national organisation has placed fly-on-the-wall cameras inside ten slaughterhouses and found nine were breaking animal welfare laws.

The footage revealed: slaughterhouse workers kicking, punching and beating animals in the head and face; picking them up by ears, legs and fleeces and throwing them; burning them with cigarettes; using the electrical stunning tongs to inflict painful electric shocks on the animals; and hacking away at the throats of fully conscious sheep. Failure to stun animals properly was also common and a serious breach of the law.

Mr Bellingham, who has served Norfolk since 1983, signed a parliamentary motion (an Early Day Motion) calling for mandatory CCTV to monitor working practices inside UK slaughterhouses and reiterated his support by agreeing to be photographed with Animal Aid’s campaign banner.

Says Henry Bellingham MP: ‘This is an excellent campaign – above all, if slaughterhouses have nothing to hide they should have no concerns about the installation of CCTV.’

Says Kate Fowler, Slaughter Consultant with Animal Aid: ‘There is no excuse for the savagery we filmed inside British slaughterhouses, and yet it went on right under the noses of the vets who are stationed there. Clearly, this system which costs taxpayers millions of pounds is failing to protect animals. We need a more robust regulatory system, and CCTV – if properly monitored – can play an important part in deterring and detecting welfare breaches. We are very grateful for the support of Mr Bellingham in helping us stop slaughterhouse abuse.’

In a 2014 YouGov poll commissioned by Animal Aid, 76 per cent of British adults support CCTV being made mandatory in all UK slaughterhouses (with independent monitoring of the footage).

Early Day Motion 153 has now been signed by almost 130 MPs:

North Norfolk MP, Norman Lamb and Norwich South MP, Clive Lewis have also signed the Early Day Motion.

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Launch of electric car charge points

electric car point
New Rapid Charge electric car charge points have just been installed in West Norfolk; 3 in King’s Lynn and 1 in Hunstanton.

More info to follow …

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Norfolk recycling centres ready for hazardous waste amnesties

toxic wasteNorfolk’s residents are being urged to check their cupboards, sheds and garages for toxic household chemicals that they don’t want any more so they can take them to be disposed of safely and securely at a series of household hazardous waste amnesties taking place at seven of Norfolk County Council’s recycling centres across the county during September.

Wood preservatives, bug and weed killers, paint, thinners, varnishes and special cleaning products are among the wide range of household chemicals that will be accepted – for free – at the weekend-long events. These are products that are too dangerous to be tipped down drains or sent to landfill without damaging the environment.

The events will be taking place between 9am and 6pm at the following sites and dates:

Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 September 2015
Ketteringham, Station Lane, NR9 3AZ
Hempton, Helhoughton Rd, Fakenham, NR21 7DY

Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 September 2015
Caister, Pump Lane, NR30 5TE
Dereham, Trafalgar Business Park, Rash’s Green, NR19 1JG

Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 September 2015
Mayton Wood, Little Hautbois, Coltishall, NR12 7JX
Thetford, Telford Way, IP24 1HU

Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 September 2015
King’s Lynn, Willows Business Park, Saddlebow, PE34 3RD

Toby Coke, Chairman of Norfolk County Council’s Environment Development and Transport committee welcomed the news of the events saying: “We all have to use chemicals for DIY jobs and chores around the house and garden. But getting rid of the leftovers legally and responsibly can be expensive because specialist disposal processes have to be used to make sure they don’t damage the environment.

“We commission specialist hazardous waste disposal chemists to run these events at our recycling centres to help residents avoid these costs.

“This is the twelfth year that we’ve run them and they are incredibly popular. Over that time Norfolk householders have brought more than 348 tonnes of dangerous chemicals to our sites and made sure they are disposed of safely and securely.

“I’d encourage everyone who needs to get rid of this type of waste that they’ve got hanging around the house to take advantage of the opportunity to get rid of it by coming along to their nearest event if they possibly can.”

Rachel Stewart, Waste Reduction Officer at Norfolk County Council added: “We put these events on as a convenient way for residents to get rid of household chemicals, but most of us can do more to try to reduce the amount we end up with.

“Most of the type of chemical products we use around the house and garden give good information about the amount of coverage or application we can expect to get out of them. If we spend a bit more time working out how much we actually need to buy for a specific job, we would reduce the likelihood of ending up having to store the left overs.

“That would mean all of us are winners. Residents can save money by not over-buying and it could also help to push down the cost to council taxpayers of having to deal with the waste.”

People can find out how to get to their nearest event by visiting or calling 0344 800 8020.

The County Council recommends that if people are planning to bring hazardous products to an amnesty event they should:

~ Keep all products in their original containers and not mix them together;

~ Keep containers clearly labelled where possible;

~ Make sure that the products are properly sealed to avoid leakage.

To find out more about the amnesty events, or if you are unsure about what can and can’t be accepted, visit: or call 0344 800 8020.

The following products will NOT be accepted at the hazardous household waste amnesties:

– Ammunition, explosives or marine flares
– Asbestos
– Commercial hazardous waste
– Fireworks
– Gas canisters (full or part full)
– Petrol

All 20 of Norfolk’s Main Recycling Centres in Norfolk also collect a range of other household materials all year round. For an A-Z of what you can and can’t recycle at our Main Recycling Centres please visit

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VIDEO ~ What Happens to Norfolk’s Recycling

Ever wondered what happens to your recycled waste after it gets picked up from your property?

This fascinating video of the Materials Recycling Facility (MRF) at Costessey shows what happens to all the recyclables collected by the district, borough and city councils from households in Norfolk.

The waste is sorted automatically by advanced new technology into various “waste streams” such as paper, cardboard, metal tins, plastic containers and glass. The processed materials are then re-supplied to manufacturers as clean raw materials.

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Hunstanton receives Blue Flag and Seaside Award

Hunstanton keep britain tidy blue flag

The news that Hunstanton’s main beach has received a coveted Blue Flag Award has been greeted with much delight in the resort.

Blue Flag and Seaside Awards are given by Keep Britain Tidy and are awarded to beaches that meet the very highest standards of cleanliness and provide excellent information and facilities.

Cllr Nick Daubney, Leader of the Borough Council said: “This is excellent news for the resort. People who visit regularly know that we have a strong commitment to providing excellent services and clean beaches and we have a great track record on achieving the Seaside Award. Achieving a Blue Flag is the icing on the cake, as it means that our bathing water quality also meets the standards. Flying the Blue Flag can be a real draw for people considering where to spend their holiday or bring the family for the day, so I really hope that this will help to boost trade in the resort this year.”

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Remembering last year’s tidal surge

Floodgate holds back the river from flooding the town. Photo: Shan Durrant

Floodgate holds back the river from flooding the town. Photo: Shan Durrant

It’s one year since King’s Lynn suffered the effects of a massive tidal surge.

The anniversary of last December’s events have been marked with the unveiling of a series of plaques indicating the height of the flood waters in King’s Lynn.

The flood plaques are located on the sea defences near King Staithe Lane, Purfleet Place, King Staithe Square, Marriott’s Warehouse and the Millfleet Tidal Barrier.

Since last year’s flooding, £1.2m of government funding has been spent on refurbishing the town’s flood defences.

North West Norfolk MP Henry Bellingham said: “The tidal surge that struck on the 5 December 2013 was incredibly powerful, and tested our defences to the limit. Thankfully they all held up, thus totally vindicating all the investment and commitment on the part of the Environment Agency, the Borough Council and other bodies. It’s fitting and appropriate that 1 year on we should be marking this important event.”

The flood defences in King’s Lynn consist of earth embankments, flood walls, dam boards and over sixty flood gates across the roads and openings. These defences prevented flooding during the most significant tidal surge in 60 years and the highest ever recorded tide level.

Flooding on the Quay: Photo: Shan Durrant

Flooding on the Quay: Photo: Shan Durrant

5 December 2013 was the first time the defences had been properly tested and operated since they were constructed in the 1980s. The defences are all built to a standard of 6.3 meters Above Ordinance Data (AOD) and provide at least a 1 in 200 year standard of protection for King’s Lynn which means that they protect against a flood which has a 1 in 200 chance of happening in any given year.

The Environment Agency’s refurbishment of the King’s Lynn defences means they are in the best condition to defend the town for another 40 years.

Julie Foley, Area Manager for the Environment Agency said, “The Environment Agency is spending £3,000,000 repairing and refurbishing defences along the coastline between King’s Lynn and Hunstanton and the Tidal River Embankments. This will protect 11,000 properties from flooding.”

Local people living in areas at risk are being urged to sign up to the Environment Agency’s free Floodline Warnings Direct service to receive information about flood warnings by phone, text or email. They are also being advised to create their own evacuation plans and look at ways to protect themselves, their possessions and their property by checking the information on the Norfolk Prepared website.”

To sign up for flood warnings visit

To find out more about being prepared for a flood visit

King’s Lynn Flood in Pictures

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Creating a ‘Living Landscape’ around Lynn

Norfolk Wildlife Trust volunteers

Norfolk Wildlife Trust volunteers

Norfolk Wildlife Trust staff are breaking out of their Roydon Common nature reserve to help local communities to create a ‘Living Landscape’ in and around Kings Lynn.

Focusing on the Gaywood River and its surrounding Valley, NWT’s Gemma Walker and Mark Webster will be running activities at the same time every week from October onwards, based at Reffley Community Centre on Reffley Lane.

Kicking things off at 10am on Monday 6th October will be a Fungi Foray with expert Dr Tony Leech, who will lead visitors out from Reffley Community Centre car park round the nearby woods, searching for and identifying as many mushrooms as possible.

From then on, the group will be meeting every Monday morning at 10am (with a short break for Chrstmas and New Year) always starting at Reffley Community Hall car park, Reffley Lane, Kings Lynn, PE30 3EQ, at 10am.

Activities in October and November include visits to ‘hidden gem’ wildlife sites in the area, working to improve local woodland habitats and the chance to learn more about the Gaywood River and the history of Kings Lynn.

Most sessions will include the chance to try practical conservation work and/or learning about wildlife, but visitors do not have to be physically fit to take part. Tea and biscuits are usually provided, as are any tools equipment and training needed.


Anyone can just turn up and join in (under 18s need to be accompanied by an adult) and all you need to bring are old outdoor working clothes. There’s usually no need to book but Gemma and Mark are happy to answer any questions you may have before you give it a try: call 01603 598 333 or email

You can also find out more about the new Living Landscape approach at

Download Activity Programme

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Raising a glass to Norfolk’s Recycling Revolution!

Photo: James Cridland

Photo: James Cridland

From Wednesday, 1 October 2014, residents across Norfolk will be able to recycle
glass bottles and jars in their normal recycling bin. For many, this will be the first time they have been able to recycle bottles and jars at the kerbside.

Recycling Revolution

Cllr John Fisher, Chair of the Norfolk Waste Partnership, explained: “Norfolk councils are all working together to revolutionise recycling in Norfolk. The ability to recycle glass bottles and jars by putting them in the kerbside recycling bins is something that residents have told us they want.

“In negotiating the new contract for the materials recycling facility, we made this a requirement and NEWS have made the necessary investment in the latest technology to make this possible. Glass bottles and jars can be mechanically sorted from the rest of the recycling ensuring that the value of the various materials is retained and that the latest legislation on mixed collections is complied with.”

“It is great news for residents as it will be more convenient to recycle than ever
before. All we ask is that food and drink residue is rinsed from the bottles and jars
before they are placed in the recycling bin.”

Norwich residents have been able to recycle glass bottles and jars for some time, but
now they won’t need their green box, they will be able to put it in the same bin as all their other recycling, making it easier than ever.

Only glass bottles and jars can be accepted. Other forms of glass such as window
panes or drinking glasses should not be placed in the recycling bins as these
materials have been treated differently and cannot be sorted in the same way. You
can keep steel lids on as these will be removed by the separation process at the
material recycling facility ready for recycling.

Areas that receive bagged collections or use communal bins will receive instructions
from their local council about how to recycle their glass bottles and jars.

In addition to glass bottles and jars, residents will be able to recycle plastic food
pots trays and tubs and cartons such as those used for soups and juices, shredded
paper, envelopes, foil and foil trays along with all the plastic bottles, card, paper and cans that can already be recycled at the kerbside.

More information about the Recycling Revolution campaign and the new recycling
service is available at . Additionally follow the campaign on Twitter using #RecyclingRevolution

Collection days and dates will not be affected by the introduction of this new service.

In addition to household recycling collections, residents can recycle a very wide
range of materials at Norfolk’s network of 20 recycling centres. For more information

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