Getting back to nature in Norfolk: Crabbing, seals and den building

Getting back to nature in Norfolk: Crabbing, seals and den building

family

Norfolk has 90 miles of coast, as well as stunning countryside, making it a great place for exploring and having fun with the family. And the best thing is that you don't have to spend money to have fun…

Climb trees, hunt for wildlife, skim a stone, catch a crab, spot a windmill, play pooh sticks and get back to nature in Norfolk. Here’s some ideas to get you started…

Crabbing

Top spots for crabbing include Blakeney, Wells, Cromer and Burnham Overy Staithe. Get a packet of bacon, a crab line, a large bucket and net, stand safely on the side and cast your line. Here’s a few tips for when you have fun trying to catch the biggest crab!

  • Tie the bacon to the end of the string line with the weight tied just above
  • Make sure you look after the crabs by filling the bucket with water and don’t leave them sitting too long in the sun on a hot day. Simply return them safely to the water
  • Be patient! Take a few minutes leaving the bait and bring the line up slowly when you see you’ve got one on the end. You don’t want to lose the crabs on the way up!

See the seals

There’s seasonal trips from Scroby Sands to see the seals. The seals are inquisitive and often swim around the boats and, if you’re lucky, you’ll see their heads bobbing in the water! See grey or common seals, and you may spot various species of birds as you’re on the boat ride too, basking on the sand on a nice day. Other places to see the seals include Morston and Hunstanton.

Birdwatching

Norfolk is referred to as the birdwatching capital of the UK. May and June at sunset on heathland is the time to hear Norfolk's strange bird song from the churring Nightjar. They can sing for five minutes without stopping and produce up to 2,000 notes a minute! Swifts also announce the start of Summer with their arrival, meaning warmer days are coming. Nature reserves include NWT Cley Marshes, RSPB Tictchwell Marsh and RSPB Snettisham.

Beautiful scenery

Go on a walk to discover beautiful scenery. The Weavers’ Way walk starts at Cromer and finishes in Great Yarmouth, and is made up of public footpaths, disused railway line and minor roads. See flint churches, wind-pumps, farmland, woods and river valleys as you walk the 62 mile route. There’s so much to discover in Norfolk and cycling is a good way to explore. Rather than walking, you can also take a boat on the Broads to experience some of the best sights. Wroxham is ‘the capital of the broads’ and there’s a modern fleet of high quality broad cruisers to hire for the day. Decide who will be captain as the others spot wildlife, sunbathe or relax.

Woodland fun

Get crafty with natures gifts and try den building, whittling and enjoying the sense of freedom in the woods and forests around Norfolk. Take a picnic and count how many different species of birds you can spot! Learn a new bird song, listen out for a cuckoo and look up to the skies to see what you can see.

Here’s some top tips for making your forest den…

  • Dens need a frame and cover - look for a natural structure like a fallen tree with a low branch to get started
  • Collect branches and sticks to build your frame
  • Use leaves, ferns and moss for your roof and walls, but remember that they are the natural habitat for little creatures too
  • Big isn’t best. Smaller dens will be more warm and stable