Pensthorpe Bird and Wildlife Fair

Published: Friday 5th Jul 2019

Written by: Georgia Dawson

“How lucky Norfolk is to have this event on its doorstep”: First Pensthorpe Bird and Wildlife Fair “a great weekend”

Pensthorpe Natural Park is a 700-acre modern nature reserve situated 11 miles inland from the north Norfolk coast and comprises wetlands, farmland, ancient woodlands, gardens and one of the largest wildflower meadows in Norfolk, making it the home of hundreds of bird, plant and wildlife species.

We were one of the sponsors of the first Pensthorpe Bird and Wildlife Fair, held on 18 and 19 May 2019, and Bill Jordan, owner of Pensthorpe Natural Park has written a guest post for us about the event…

As anyone who has visited or lives in Norfolk knows, Norfolk is a birdwatchers’ paradise and protecting and promoting wildlife has been in our DNA since Pensthorpe was founded as a wildfowl and wetlands park back in 1988.

Our aim for the Pensthorpe Bird and Wildlife Fair was to celebrate Norfolk as the birdwatching capital of Britain, showcase the extraordinary species we attract here and highlight conservation issues, and it was a joy to celebrate the unique nature and wildlife offering that the county has to offer.

It was a real pleasure to welcome around 2,500 visitors over the weekend and see them enjoy a jam-packed programme of expert talks, guided walks, pond dipping sessions and bird identification sessions, as well as attend book signings and meet a range of exhibitors.

Pensthorpe Bird & Wildlife Fair 2019
Photographs by Steve Adams

The event attracted wildlife enthusiasts, as well as people who just enjoy feeding their garden birds and families who want their children to be inspired and learn about some of the amazing wildlife that calls Norfolk home, and we worked hard to make the event accessible for everyone.

There were so many highlights from the weekend, which included guest appearances from nature and wildlife experts including Simon King OBE, known for his work on Big Cat Diary and Springwatch; Mike Dilger, The One Show wildlife reporter and presenter on Nature’s Babies; and Bill Oddie OBE, who has presented TV programmes including Springwatch and Autumnwatch. Visitors were spilling out of the marquee to hear Simon, Mike and Bill talk!

Pensthorpe Bird & Wildlife Fair 2019
Photographs by Steve Adams

The Norfolk Wildlife Trust (NWT) was the charity beneficiary of the event and a percentage of the proceeds will go to enhancing and protecting local wetland areas in the Broads National Park.

On behalf of me, and my wife Deb, we would like to thank everyone who worked so hard in making this event a success and this year’s sponsors, including Norfolk Cottages, for supporting it. We hope that this event will become a permanent fixture on the calendar and are pleased to announce that it will return to Pensthorpe on Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 May 2020.

Here are some comments from some of the guest talkers over the weekend…

  • Simon King OBE said: “The natural world is a constant source of inspiration and Norfolk is prolific as being the most amazing county for birdwatching and nature as it is buzzing with wildlife. Pensthorpe really is the hub for that and May is a busy time for migrating species so the Fair was held at the perfect time of year. I’ve enjoyed a great weekend celebrating nature in the county.”
  • Mike Dilger commented: “What an amazing event! I’ve absolutely loved meeting everyone and learning about the incredible work that Pensthorpe Conservation Trust is doing. I’ve been to Pensthorpe before filming the Operation Turtle Dove project and Norfolk is just an amazing county for birds and wildlife, and this event is great as it is shouting about the nature and wildlife it attracts. How lucky Norfolk is to have this event on its doorstep and I hope that it returns here every year.”
  • NWT Wildlife Evangelist, Nick Acheson said: “It was a joy to be part of the first Pensthorpe Bird and Wildlife Fair. At a time when wildlife and the environment are under terrible strain, it is hugely heartening to see so many good people and organisations sharing the experience they’ve gained protecting nature and helping people build a relationship with the wild. I can’t wait to attend the event in 2020.”

For more information about the Pensthorpe visit or call 01328 851465.


Georgia Dawson
Georgia Dawson


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