Archive for the ‘Environment’ Category

Behind the scenes at East Winch Wildlife Hospital

East Winch RSPCA

East Winch RSPCA Wildlife Hospital

Special Report by Katie Moyle (age 9)

This summer I was really lucky to be allowed behind the scenes at the RSPCA animal centre at East Winch to see some of the seals. I had met one of the supervisors, Jo Mead, at the Kings Lynn park run.

The centre started in 1988 when the RSPCA along with Greenpeace, responded to the Seal distemper virus which struck common seals in the North Sea. An emergency seal assessment centre was set up in Docking, Norfolk.

After this emergency, the RSPCA continued to treat sick and injured seals and started to take in other British wildlife.In 1992 the centre moved to their permanent site at East Winch which became known as the RSPCA Norfolk Wildlife Hospital. The facilities and workload increased dramatically following the move.

east winch seal baby

Baby Orphan Seal

The centre is renowed for its care of orphaned, sick or injured seals. Centre staff developed a great deal of expertise during the seal distemper virus epidemics of 1988 and 2002. Vets are part of the team of trained and dedicated personnel. Staff have detailed knowledge and wide experince of wildlife care, rehabillitation.

When I visited with my Mum and Dad we had to put on a white suit and welly boots -mine were absolutely massive on me and I could hardly walk! First we saw the tanks with some baby Grey Seals in them.Then we saw the tanks that had slighty larger seals in them,followed by the outdoor release tank. Finally we saw the intensive care unit with the very sick seals and a slightly mad fox in the different rooms.

Jo Mead helping a seal

Jo Mead helping a seal

After the visit, I met Jo Mead again and interviewed her about her work with the seals.

When did you start working with seals?

I started working at the centre just over 10 years ago.

What do you enjoy about your job?

The best part about my job is when we release a seal when we have had to spend so much time getting them better

If a member of the public found a poorly seal?

First of all you should not go near it, because they can bite. Sometimes they can look poorly when they are not. Then they should call the RSPCA on 0300 123 4999 and tell them and we will send an RSPCA inspector to have a look.

What happens when you rescue a seal?

We bring it to the centre and then we get the vet to check it over. Then we give it some anbtibiotics and lots of food and fluids until its feeding better and then it is allowed to go swimming. It puts on lots of weight and then we can release it.

How long before you can release a seal again?

To get a seal better from really poorly until it can go back to sea, it can take about three months. Sometimes if they are really poorly it can take longer.

Two cute!

Two cute!

Katie’s website All About Seals can be found at


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Norfolk’s recycling network ~ New online map

Recycling Map

A new interactive web-based map to help residents pinpoint their nearest recycling facility has been launched by Norfolk County Council.

The map allows people to search for places where they can recycle their rubbish in a variety of ways: by location – ie entering their postcode or by clicking on their local area – or by type of recycling facility.

Speaking about the new service, Bill Borrett, Norfolk County Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment and Waste said: “When it comes to recycling, Norfolk is leading the way, with over 1000 different facilities, making it one of the largest recycling networks in the country, I am really pleased that anyone can now find their nearest site with a click of a button.

“The vast majority of these are in the heart of local communities, run by community groups, volunteers and local councils and supported by Norfolk County Council with cash payments made through our recycling credits scheme.

recycle plastic bottles photo: cARTerART

“This new online tool has been designed to help people find out exactly what recycling facilities are near them, or where they need to go to be able to reuse or recycle different household materials.

“People are far more likely to recycle if it’s convenient to do it. That means higher recycling rates and less waste being sent to landfill and this new web-based map will help Norfolk achieve that.”

The new map reveals that there are 153 Recycling Centres in Norfolk, plus another 832 Recycling Points and 128 charity shops.

The map also explains the different types of waste each site can take.

The map can be found at

Community organisations, voluntary groups or charities which run local recycling operations that would like to add them to the map should contact or call 0344 800 8020

Organisations that would like to find out more about Norfolk County Council’s recycling credits scheme should visit or call 0344 800 8020

People can also access the new service using the internet facilities which are available at all Norfolk libraries, free of charge to members. Joining Norfolk’s libraries is also free.

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Plastic fantastic! – Let’s get it sorted together

recycle plastic bottles photo: cARTerART

It is National Recycling week from the 18-24 June and the Borough Council of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk is working in partnership with the campaign which, this year, is themed ‘Plastic fantastic’.

We’ve been using plastic bottles for 65 years and because of water, soft drinks, shampoo, bleach, olive oil and everything in between, we get through a staggering 15 million of them every day in the UK alone . The humble plastic bottle has never been so much in demand, and now, thanks to the upcoming summer of sport and celebration, demand is set to soar even further.

It’s not just the prospect of street parties, barbecues and associated merriment, there’s the small matter of the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics Games; spectating will be thirsty work for the nine million ticket-holders and estimated 38 million TV viewers over the 30 days of competition. We will also have the Olympic Torch on our doorstep, as it comes through Kings Lynn and surrounding areas in July .

In short, 2012 is set to be a bumper year for plastic bottles. Sadly however, currently less than 50 per cent of them are making it to the recycling bin, national Recycle Week wants to turn it into a bumper year for collecting them.

The annual recycling push, running from 18-24 June this year, reminds us all of the value of recycling and just how easily we can do it. For 2012, the campaign wants us to think twice before putting our plastic bottles into the rubbish bag – because now, thanks to technology, it’s possible to recycle ALL shapes and sizes of bottle including milk, shampoo, bleach, shower gel, and even plastic bottles used outside in the garden or kept in the shed.

UK households dispose of around 4.9 million tonnes of packaging every year, but recycling just one tonne of plastic bottles saves 1.5 tonnes of CO2 being released into the atmosphere. To put this into perspective, if all of us in the UK recycled just one extra plastic bottle during Recycle Week, this would save enough energy to power over 71,000 plasma screen TVs for a year. Recycling also benefits the environment by significantly reducing air and water pollutants.

So what happens to bottles during recycling? They’re first separated by colour, cleaned, melted down and then turned into plastic pellets. These are used to make fences, bags, flooring, window frames, fleeces, fibre fillings… or even more bottles!

Cllr Brian Long, Cabinet Member for Environment, said: “National Recycling Week is an excellent opportunity to really think about what we do with our waste. Plastic bottles are collected from our residents’ homes every 2 weeks, and it is good to have the opportunity to reinforce just how important it is that we do put our bottles in the correct bin, ensuring that they go to good use and are not just thrown into landfill.”

While we are thinking about ‘Plastic Fantastic,’ we must make sure that we put our recyclable items into the bin loose. When we put any of our recycling into carrier bags, it means that that waste can’t get sorted, so immediately gets sent to landfill – not so fantastic. We also need to remember that we cannot collect hard plastic like yoghurt pots and margarine tubs from your home. These contaminates should not go into our recycle bins.

There’s no need to wait until Recycle Week every year….we can make a difference every day.

Let’s get recycling sorted together.

For more information on recycling with the borough council please visit

Recycling tips

• Before recycling please rinse your bottles out
• Bottle tops can be recycled too
• You don’t need to remove the labels as this is done as part of the recycling
• Remember, bottles from the bathroom can be recycled too, introduce 2 small bathroom bins, or even better a recycling bin!

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Interview with Henry Bellingham

Henry Bellingham talks to us in King's Lynn

Henry Bellingham talks to us in King's Lynn

Henry Bellingham, MP for North West Norfolk, was in town on Saturday, and we took the oppportunity of asking him where he stands on the proposed new incinerator, to be located on the outskirts of King’s Lynn

Henry spoke to Alan T Shearer at the KLWIN stand in Broad Street, and confirmed he was very firmly against the proposal.

A meeting to determine whether the Lynn incinerator project should be given planning permission will take place on Friday June 29th at County Hall in Norwich.

More information on the King’s Lynn Without INcineration campaign can be found at

More detailed article coming next week.

All photos by Alan T Shearer.

To listen to our fascinating interview in full CLICK HERE.

Henry Bellingham with KLWIN protesters in Broad Street

Henry Bellingham with KLWIN protesters in Broad Street

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LED street lights have bright future‎

Amey installing street lights in Kings Lynn

Nearly 1,400 high-tech LED street lights have been installed in King’s Lynn in a trial by Norfolk County Council and Amey aimed at reducing energy costs and carbon emissions.

The distinctive state of the art street lights have been going up on many streets in and around King’s Lynn after Norfolk County Council agreed to fund the £172,000 extra cost, with a view to making cash and carbon savings in the long term. The scheme is expected to save the council over £12,000 in energy and maintenance costs a year, and will reduce annual CO2 emissions by over 40 tonnes.

Amey installing LED street lights in King's Lynn

Amey installing LED street lights in King's Lynn

The work has been carried out by Amey as part of its long term street lighting contract with Norfolk County Council. LED lights are significantly lower in energy consumption compared to traditional lighting. An LED street light can normally produce the same amount of (or higher) brightness as a traditional light, but requires only half of the power consumption. LEDs can also be dimmed, reducing unnecessary use of energy during non-peak times by up to 40 per cent.

Graham Plant, Norfolk County Council’s Cabinet Member for Planning and Transportation, agreed to the investment of just over £172,000 in the LED lighting. “Investing in this new technology has only been possible because of the council’s tight control on spending” he said.

“LED street lights cost more initially, but we expect to save over £12,000 a year in energy, carbon reduction and reduced maintenance costs. Our initial investment will be more than repaid over the lifetime of the lights, which is good news for council tax payers and the environment.

“The trial covers nearly three-quarters of the 2,000 street lights being replaced in and around King’s Lynn. and it is a big enough area to provide data that will inform our decisions about the use of LED elsewhere.”

The street lights that have been selected for replacement are reaching the end of their useable life and once the new LED lights are installed, residents and road users will benefit from clearer light that also reduces overspill into people’s homes. The new lights allow a wider spectrum of colours to be seen and facial features to be distinguished.

Stewart McDonald, Amey’s Account Manager for the Norfolk Street Lighting contract, said: “Amey has been at the forefront of the LED lighting revolution and this contract was the first street lighting PFI in the country to trial LED lighting in street lamps and bollards.

“By installing these new state-of-the-art lights Amey is helping Norfolk County Council to reduce its carbon footprint and benefit the local environment. The new technology will also reduce electricity bills, require less maintenance and reduce light pollution into people’s homes.”

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Hosepipe Ban from April 5th

Hosepipe Ban - Photo Terry Why

Gardeners in this area will soon have to switch from using the hose to the humble watering can.

Here in the East Anglia region, the last 5 months have been the driest on record. Even the recent heavy rainfall has proved to be too little too late. The whole of the South East region of the UK is now officially in drought.

Anglian Water has announced a hosepipe ban from Thursday April 5th. The first in this area for more than 20 years. The ban will only apply to households and not businesses or farmers.

The ban comes after the South East region was officially declared to be a drought area by the Government, and water companies warning that water restrictions may be needed to ensure essential public supplies are maintained throughout the summer.

Peter Simpson, Managing Director of Anglian Water, said: “This is the first time Anglian Water has imposed a hosepipe ban in more than 20 years, but we believe this is the most sensible and responsible action to take to help safeguard customer supplies for this year, next year and beyond.

“Our region has had its driest 18 months for a century, including two dry winters which have robbed us of the rainfall we need to refill rivers, reservoirs and aquifers.

“In addition to the hosepipe ban, we are asking our 4.2 million customers to help us save water at home, at work and in the garden.

“We are doing our bit too; millions of pounds are being spent to secure water supplies in the region and we are working with neighbouring water companies to help keep them secure across the wider South East and East.

Under the terms of the ban, there will be a small number of exemptions to protect jobs and livelihoods and the infirm. Customers can still water their gardens if they use a watering can not a hose, and can still clean their cars, provided they use a bucket.

Mr Simpson said: “Along with lots of rain, what we need most of all is common sense.

“This is one of those times when everyone needs to pull together and help save water, as well as look out for relations, neighbours and friends who might struggle in some way – perhaps lifting a heavy watering can or bucket for example.

“We are not telling people to stop doing what they have to, but to adapt their behaviour to reflect the severity of the situation. The message is – do what you can.

People have until April 5 to contact Anglian Water to suggest what exemptions if any, are appropriate.

At present, the ban will only apply to domestic use of hosepipes for things like gardening, washing cars and windows and filling paddling pools. Businesses and other commercial operations are not affected.

However, Anglian Water is urging its non-domestic customers to use water sparingly.

Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman has urged the public to help by saving water now as the water companies plan an information offensive to encourage wise use in the home and the garden.

Spokesman for the charity Waterwise, Jacob Tompkins said: “Food bills are likely to rise. Farmers are being hit quite badly. There are up to 500 restrictions on agricultural water abstractions already so many farmers cannot fill water stores.”

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Give the gift of composting this Christmas

People who are stuck for Christmas present ideas or want to give a sustainable and long lasting gift can take advantage of a great value for money offer from Norfolk County Council, and give a compost bin.

The idea of transforming left over kitchen and garden rubbish into a useful new product may not be at the top of everyone’s list at Christmas but a compost bin is literally a present that will keep on giving – for years and years to come.

Bill Borrett, Cabinet Member for Environment and Waste at Norfolk County Council, said: “A compost bin could be the perfect surprise gift for many people, whether they’re a keen cook, a new gardener or just someone who likes trying something new. And, one thing’s for sure, a wrapped-up bin will definitely be a talking point under the Christmas tree!

“Making compost is really simple to do and recycling kitchen and garden waste into a free, nutrient rich source of food is not only great for our gardens and plants but also very rewarding.

“Equally important, composting helps to create less waste. Around one third of what we put in our bins can actually be composted. So a compost bin can really help make a big difference to the amount of rubbish we send to landfill, which costs our environment and our wallets so dearly.”

Contrary to popular opinion, winter can also be a great time to get composting. David Hawkyard, Norfolk County Council’s Master Composter coordinator said: “Residents lucky enough to open a bin on Christmas day can start composting straight away and look forward to rich compost all year round. Adding waste through the cooler weather helps to keep the composting momentum going at a time when decomposition will naturally slow down.

“Vegetable peelings from Christmas Day meal preparations, fallen poinsettia leaves, satsuma peel and egg shells are all welcome winter composting additions. And shredded cardboard, loo roll tubes and egg boxes, coffee grounds and tea bags, can all help the mix, helping to capture nutrients and generate excellent compost for spring.”

Norfolk County Council offers discounted compost bins with prices starting at £15 for 220-litre or £18 for a 330-litre bin. There is also a buy one, get one half price offer. As well as compost bins, the scheme also includes accessories, wormeries, caddies, water butts and other items.

Bins and accessories can be ordered from or by telephoning 0844 5714444. Plus, with a direct to your door 28-day delivery service (available at an extra charge), buying a compost bin as a present couldn’t be simpler.

For more information on composting from Norfolk’s Master Composters, visit Alternatively email:

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Survey finds 800 plant species in King’s Lynn

A Flora of King's Lynn

A five-year survey has identified 800 different plant species in King’s Lynn.

Gallant Soldiers from South America are to be found all over King’s Lynn. So is Fleabane from Mexico, Comfrey from Russia, and Maple from Norway – along with a host of native British plants.

They are just some of the 800 or so plants listed in A Flora of King’s Lynn, a new publication cataloguing the wild plant species found in the town over a five year period by local botanists Robin Stevenson and Frances Schumann.

“When we began we expected to find 400 or so species” says Robin “but we have been surprised by the sheer quantity and variety of the plants we have identified.

“There are very few particularly rare plants, indeed even those with rather outlandish names from far-away places will be familiar to many. The importance is that our work illustrates the degree of biodiversity and how much there is in an urban area such as King’s Lynn.

“We have not confined our searches to obvious ‘green’ areas such as The Walks or Harding’s Pits; most of what we have found has been on little patches of waste ground, un-regarded corners and roadside verges.”

Gallant Soldiers (Galinsoga) growing at kerbside.

Unusual locations where plants have been found include a road grating, from which Pellitory-of-the-Wall was emerging, and a substantial Rowan tree growing on the top of a high brick wall.

The study will be of interest to planners, developers, naturalists, and anyone who cares about the local environment.

Frances and Robin embarked upon their study because a previous survey (in 1995) of the flowering plants of Lynn had only covered a rather small area. It was decided to record over a substantially larger area, one that had already been covered by Robin in a study of the local mosses; Frances volunteered to help in this second project.

Published by the Norfolk & Norwich Naturalists’ Society, with additional financial sponsorship from the Norfolk Biodiversity Information Service, the Norfolk Biodiversity Partnership, and the Gaywood Valley Project, the authors have aimed to make the work an informative and entertaining introduction to the Flora of King’s Lynn.

Cowslips on the River Ouse bank.

An introductory section, which describes the setting, scope and habitats of the town, is fully illustrated by colour photographs taken by the two authors. This is followed by an alphabetical listing of all the plants found. All, except the commonest species, are accompanied by a distribution map and text, commenting either on the biology, history or uses of the plant – a mixture of facts designed to make the flora appeal to as wide a selection of people as possible, not solely botanists.

The scope includes some of the rural margins of the town, such as the arable areas to the north and east, in the belief that these are liable to be developed in future years. This will give the Flora an historical value, as and when such changes occur. It will also act as a baseline database against which changes associated with global warming, or other environmental alterations, may be measured.

The native Bluebell, still quite common in Reffley Wood.

Habitats are not only to be found in the countryside. Urban areas made a significant contribution to our wealth of flora, and they are often overlooked. This publication shows what a resource there is in even the densest built-up parts of our towns. We cannot ignore them.

A Flora of King’s Lynn, by Frances Schumann and Robin Stevenson will be available via the Norfolk & Norwich Naturalists’ Society website (, Waterstones in King’s Lynn and selected booksellers, price £8.00

Robin Stevenson has lived in Lynn for the last 30 years. A lecturer at the College of West Anglia before his retirement he has always been interested in all aspects of Natural History, although he does draw the line at birds.

Frances Schumann

Frances Schumann

Frances Schumann became interested in wildflowers when she came to live in Norfolk. She joined the Norfolk Flora Group when the survey work for the publication ‘A Flora of Norfolk’ (1999) was taking place, and with the help of many of the other members enjoyed the challenge of trying to identify every single ‘weed’ she came across.

The Norfolk Biodiversity Partnership ( works to conserve, enhance and restore the county’s biological diversity. Established in 1996, the Partnership brings together 21 organisations – including local authorities, statutory agencies, private sector companies and voluntary groups – in pursuit of a shared vision: the implementation of the Norfolk Biodiversity Action Plan.”

The Norfolk Biodiversity Information Service collects and collates records about the biology and geology of Norfolk. These records are available to planners and ecologists, as well as ordinary members of the public:

The Gaywood Valley Project (SURF) is local to King’s Lynn. It is concerned with enhancing green spaces, making the area more accessible and increasing awareness about the local natural environment:

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Waste Busters set to boost recycling

Waste Buster Week

Norfolk residents are being urged to take another look at what they buy and bin in Norfolk County Council’s Waste Buster Week starting on Monday (31 October).

Waste Buster Week aims to get people thinking about how much of their rubbish ends up in landfill and challenges them to see how little they can throw away in a week with prizes up for grabs for people taking part.

To take part residents will need to measure the amount of rubbish they are sending to landfill now and compare that with what they send after their waste busting week.

Measuring can be done in any of three ways – by counting the number of full bin bags in their bin, weighing the rubbish or by estimating how full their bin is.

The Waste Buster pack, filled with information on reducing, reusing and recycling, and details on how to enter the prize draw, can be found online or by phoning Norfolk County Council on 0344 800 8020. Tips and ideas can be shared during the week on a dedicated Facebook page.

Bill Borrett, Cabinet Member for Environment and Waste said: “I am really keen for as many people as possible to get involved by reducing, reusing and recycling as much as they can and making smart choices at the shops. I hope residents will be surprised at how little they throw away during Waste Buster Week – and they may even save some money too.”

“The County Council wants to continue to boost recycling in Norfolk and to help residents reduce the amount of rubbish they send to landfill – which is bad for the environment and costs the Council millions of pounds in landfill tax.”

Hannah Griffiths, KLFM breakfast presenter and news reader, has already signed up to be a Waste Buster – her progress can be followed throughout the week on KLFM as she finds out about waste busting tips including composting and use of real nappies.

Earlier this year the Barnard family from Pott Row in West Norfolk became Waste Busters managing to reduce their waste going to landfill from 12.5kg to 6.36kg.

Jon Barnard was really surprised at how much difference just a little thought made to the amount of rubbish his family threw away, saying: “Getting the Waste Buster Pack was really helpful especially with things such as composting and junk mail.

“It has made us think about what we buy when shopping, we’ve made a real effort to choose products without excessive packaging. We’re definitely going to try to carry this on and try new things to reduce our waste even more.”


For further information

*By returning a completed Waste Buster record form Norfolk residents could win one of the following prizes in a prize draw:

* £100 of supermarket vouchers

* Annual Family Pass to Norfolk Museums

* Annual Family Pass to UK Sealife Centres

**To sign up to become a waste buster for a week, Norfolk residents can call 0344 800 8020 or look online at When people sign up to Waste Buster Week they will receive a Waste Buster pack, challenge form and a free reusable shopping bag.

Further Info on Wastebusters, kerbside recycling, and the wide range of materials you can take to any one of Norfolk’s 19 Recycling Centres:

* You could sort through unwanted items and clothes and donate them to a charity shop ( or one of the reuse shops found at some of Norfolk’s Recycling Centres.

* For a full A-Z of what you can do with your waste visit

* Waste Busters will be promoting the week in King’s Lynn shopping centre on Tuesday 25 October 25.

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5,000 new homes allocated to Lynn

Housing Map

1600 new homes allocated south of the Hardwick Roundabout.

West Norfolk residents are being invited to comment on a document that will detail the type and location of future development in their neighbourhoods.

The ‘Site Specific Allocations and Policies’ document outlines all development in the borough until 2026. This includes 5,000 new homes for the King’s Lynn area.

This figure includes 437 houses near Lynnsport, 285 in the town centre, 350 at Boal Quay, 153 at Marsh Lane, 800 in South Wootton, 1600 South East of King’s Lynn and 750 North East of king’s Lynn.

The consultation consists of a series of questions that accompany details of the proposals and illustrative maps of each of the locations. Questions cover topics such as housing allocation – where residents will be asked what criteria they think should be used for deciding how many houses should be built in a particular location.

Hard copies of the document will be available at local libraries and council offices throughout the consultation period, which closes at 5pm on 18 November.

A PDF map of the areas is available here.

Drop-in session dates

South Wootton, parish office (next to village hall)
Tues 27 Sept 2011 at 4pm to 7pm

Hunstanton Community Centre
Wed 28 Sept 2011 at 4pm to 7pm

Upwell Village Hall
Mon 3 Oct 2011 at 4.30pm to 7.30pm

Downham Market Town Hall
Tues 4 Oct 2011 at 3pm to 7pm

South Wootton Village Hall
Thurs 6 Oct 2011 at 3.30pm to 8pm

Grimston Village Hall
Mon 10 Oct 2011 at 4pm to 7pm

Terrington St Clement Village Hall
Tues 11 Oct 2011 at 4pm to 7pm

Methwold, St. George’s Hall
Wed 12 Oct 2011 at 4pm to 7pm

Docking, The Ripper Hall
Thurs 13 Oct 2011 at 4pm to 7pm

West Winch, William Burt Centre
Fri 14 Oct 2011 at 3.30pm to 8pm

Emneth Central Hall
Wed 19 Oct 2011 at 4pm to 7pm

King’s Lynn, 14 Norfolk Street
Sat 22 Oct 2011 at 9am to 1pm

Site Specific Allocations and Policies Development Plan Document

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Flood risks in Norfolk

Flood Map

Tens of thousands of properties in Norfolk are at risk of flooding and the long-term management of that risk will come under scrutiny next week.

A report before Norfolk County Council’s Cabinet Scrutiny Committee next Tuesday will say that out of the 149 Lead Local Flood Authority areas (LLFA), Norfolk is ranked 10th most at risk, with 37,991 properties at risk from surface water flooding, 15,965 properties at risk from fluvial flooding and 46,121 properties at risk from tidal flooding.

Flood management in Norfolk is complicated by a number of factors including the county’s size, the fact it has many dispersed communities at risk of flooding and also because a significant number of areas face a high risk of both fluvial and tidal flooding.

One significant development the report will highlight will be the addition of four new specialist boat teams and ten first-responder flood rescue teams to the county council’s fire and rescue service. This follows a match-funded grant of £250,000 from the Department of the Environment, Food And Rural Affairs (DEFRA) under the Flood Rescue National Enhancement Project.

The teams will be housed at specific locations around Norfolk following flood risk analysis by the the LLFA. This will ensure flood prevention, protection and emergency response capabilities are fully integrated, the report will say.

Paul Morse, Chair of the Cabinet Scrutiny Committee, said: “Flooding is obviously a very important issue for Norfolk and represents a significant risk for thousands of homeowners and businesses. My own Division was badly affected by tidal flooding in 2007 and surface water flooding in 2008.

Managing the risk long-term is a key issue for the county council. Cabinet Scrutiny Committee has received a number of reports on flood risk since the Pitt Review as new legislation has been introduced and been appraised of the key issues for the County Council. This report brings the committee right up to date with the current situation and gives members the chance to examine where the authority is in terms of flood risk management and planning.”

Cabinet Scrutiny Committee will meet at 10am on Tuesday September 27 in the Edwards Room at County Hall, Martineau Lane, Norwich.

High Tide in 2006

Exceptional high tide at Purfleet Quay in King's Lynn during 2006

King’s Lynn and West Norfolk have the highest percentage of homes at risk of flooding anywhere in the eastern region, according to the Environment Agency.

In a recent State of the Environment report they said 8,500 homes and businesses in the King’s Lynn area were at significant risk of flooding.

In 2006, the bill to repair flood damage to eastern England was £88m. To repair flood damage in Norfolk the bill was £27m – the highest amount in the region.

The report said, with sea levels predicted to rise by between 22cm (8.5in) and 82cm (32.3in) over the next 70 years, protecting the county’s low-lying areas would be a key priority for the future.

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Vote for Lynn’s green parks!

Flowers in The Walks

Flowers in The Walks

The Walks and Tower Gardens in King’s Lynn have once again received horticultural recognition, each being awarded a prestigious Green Flag.

To gain the accolade parks and gardens must demonstrate that they are well maintained and well managed, providing high-quality public space for the community to enjoy.

Now organisers of the Green Flag Award scheme are on the hunt for the UK’s best public spaces and are giving people the chance to vote for their favourite park or garden in the People’s Choice Award.

Regular users of the parks are hoping that The Walks and Tower Gardens will be named amongst the best of the 1,290 parks or green spaces currently flying the Green Flag.

Competition for the top spot is hotting up, with over 4,500 votes already cast so now is the time to ensure that the King’s Lynn sites get the recognition they deserve.

Cllr Elizabeth Nockolds, Borough Council of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk Cabinet Member, said: “We are very proud of The Walks and Tower Gardens and have worked hard, along with local communities, to ensure that these are inviting spaces that people can enjoy.

“It would be fantastic if these much-loved local spaces were recognised nationally so I hope that lots of people get behind their local park or garden and register their vote.”

Paul Todd, Green Flag Award scheme manager said: “We know how important having access to quality parks and green spaces is to the public. The People’s Choice Award gives them the chance to decide which park or green space deserves the accolade of the nation’s favourite.

“With 1,290 award-winning sites to choose from competition is fierce so we urge everyone to get voting if they want to see their local park pick up the award.”

To vote visit Voting closes at midday on Monday 12 September and the winner will be announced on 21 September.

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Attractions at Trues Yard

Our latest featured charity is Trues Yard Fishing Heritage Museum.

Maritime Month Logo

In August True’s Yard and the Green Quay will be holding a number of events as part of their Maritime Month.

Events will include an exhibition at True’s Yard, Maritime guided walks and a free talks programme on the heritage, fishing and conservation of the Wash.

Talks include topical issues such as Wind Energy, Fishing in the Wash Past and Present, a talk on Castle Rising and the Wash and the Picture the Wash photographic awards.

Free Talks Programme

Wind, Energy & Wash
Thursday 4th August – The Green Quay 7 to 8.30pm
Centricia’s Laura Jeffs
Introduced by Roger Ward Chair of the (EMS/SAC) King’s Lynn & west Norfolk Joint Advisory Group. Green Quay Cafe open as normal for this event.

Fishing in the Wash Past & Present
Thursday 11th August – True’s Yard 1 to 2pm
Dr. Paul Richards & ‘Inshore Fisheries and Conservation’ a New Era Judith Stoutt of ESF/EIFCA

Picture the Wash – WESG Photo Competition Awards
Thursday 18th August – The Green Quay 7 to 9pm
Introduced by WESG Chair Paul Espin with updates on WESG & EMS Projects by Jeff Goodley and Peter Rushmer (followed by canapes, refreshment and chat)

Castle Rising and the Wash
Wednesday 31st August – True’s Yard 1 to 2pm
Prof Fred Cooke

All talks are Free but places should be reserved from the venue beforehand

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Find your nearest Recycling Point

Recycling Point

A new online search system that allows residents to find their nearest community recycling point has been launched by the Borough Council of King’s Lynn.

The search engine, which can be found at, is designed to boost recycling rates by making it easier for residents to recycle items that might otherwise end up in landfill.

In addition to Norfolk County Council’s four household recycling centres, there are nearly 70 community recycling points located throughout the borough. Using the new system, residents can locate their nearest facility by either opting to search by material type or by the area in which they live.

Cllr Brian Long, portfolio holder for the Environment and Community ,said: “We want to encourage people to recycle more glass, clothes and shoes, so we are trying to make it easier for them to do so. Most recycling points are located at key community hubs, like a local shop, close to a village hall or near a public house, but not everyone will naturally visit these places. The new search will mean that everyone can find out, at the touch of a button, where the community points are and what can be recycled there.”

People who do not have access to the internet can call the recycling helpline on 01553 776676 for details of their closest facility.

Residents are also being invited to suggest where they would like to see recycling facilities. To nominate a location in your local community as a potential site for a community recycling point please email

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Take a walk on the wild side

Pipistrelle Bats. Photo: Chris Darby

New guided wildlife walks in The Walks, King’s Lynn will give people the chance to discover more about the creatures that live in the town’s park.

Start spring Sunday mornings to the sound of birdsong with a Dawn Chorus Walk. Dawn Chorus Walks begin at 6am from the Red Mount Chapel. Participants will learn how to identify birds by their song, and learn more about habitats and nesting requirements. No equipment is necessary. Walking clothes and a waterproof jacket are advisable.

Dawn Chorus Walks will be held on Sunday 10, 17 and 24 April and Sunday 1 May.

Once the daylight chatter and birdsong gives way to the setting sun other winged creatures begin to enjoy the park – bats. The Red Mount Chapel at the heart of the park has become an hibernacula for Pipistrelle bats and Natterers and Brown Long-Eared bats have also been spotted.

The leader of the Evening Bat Walks will use specialist detection equipment to locate the bats so that participants can observe the bats’ behaviour. There will also be a chance to learn more about the UK’s seventeen bat species and their roosting requirements. No equipment required. Walking attire advised.

Evening Bat Walks will be held as follows:

Sunday 8 May at 8.30pm

Saturday 4 June at 9.00pm

Sunday 26 June at 9.10pm

Sunday 24 July at 8.45pm

Saturday 13 August at 8.10pm

Sunday 18 September at 6.45pm

The hour-long guided walks are led by local experts and are free to attend. To book, call 01553 782076.

The Walks is owned and managed by the Borough Council of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk. The council works hard to ensure that the Grade-II listed park is maintained to a high standard and aims to make the park accessible to a wide range of users. The council has teamed up with local company Torc ecology to offer these wild life walks.

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Part-night lighting in Norfolk

street lamp blueNorfolk County Council is gradually introducing part-night lighting in areas across the county, which means turning off streetlights in some quiet residential streets between midnight and 5am, to save money and reduce light pollution.

Streetlights are only being switched off once the local communities have been consulted. Exemptions can include areas covered by CCTV, those with water nearby and roads with high levels of traffic.

Part-night lighting is now in place in Wymondham and in most of Costessey and Thetford. Work is due to start soon in Dereham and Swaffham.

Consultation with stakeholders will begin shortly in Watlingham, Wormgay, Marham, Middleton, East Winch, Pentney, Gayton, Grimston and Norwich South.

NCC say the change will help meet targets for lowering the CO2 emissions which contribute to global warming (10% of the total produced by the County Council’s streetlights, when fully implemented). “We are only considering part night lighting in low crime areas where there are low levels of through traffic,” say the council.

When the change is completed, Norfolk will be saving around £167,000 every year, which will help keep Council Tax rises to a minimum.

We are supporting Earth Hour.

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