Why I love Blickling...

Estate volunteer Colin hammering nails in to a fence post

Its just after 8 am and the air is frosty. Across the fields a low mist hangs. As we load the tractor and trailer our breath forms little clouds. Shortly we leave Abel Heath Farm.

As we pass along Silvergate Lane I scan the old roadside trees for a glimpse of one of the little owls that live there. Today they are not to be seen. It is most likely too cold for them today.

Further down the lane we round the bend, passing the gap in the hedge which affords the most stunning views of the hall across the misty meadows – it almost appears to float.

On we trundle, eventually passing the front of the hall – quietly magnificent for now. Soon enough there will be visitors and staff thronging about.

We turn up towards Park Gates passing the Buckinghamshire Arms, standing sentinel like and then the neat cottages that form Blickling Village.

Now we are into the park. To our right the lake beckons. We ignore the temptation and head towards the Deer Pits. As we swing left, a Barn Owl flushes from a tree and begins its quartering flight. Before long it will be hunting for a growing family.

We reach Tower Park, a beautiful landscape, where we are planting nearly a hundred trees, replacements for those reaching the end of their lives.

We build a substantial cage to protect each young tree from the attentions of grazing stock. It should last for many years.

Flocks of Fieldfare and Redwing are foraging, migrants seeking refuge from their Scandinavian home, presently gripped in the vice of winter.

Amazingly a Skylark sings.

The impact of our endeavours will not be evident for years to come, but what a delight and privilege to contribute to the Blickling story!