Living on Blakeney Point
Ever wondered what life was like for our coastal rangers who spend several months of the year living in the lifeboat house on Blakeney Point?
Ranger Howard Jones will be joined on the Point by this year's Seasonal Assistant Rangers Luke Wilkinson and Ryan Doggart.
A place to call home
Home for the majority of the year is the Lifeboat House, which is an iconic landmark on this stretch of Britain’s coastline. Visually appealing and bright blue, the Lifeboat House is visible for miles around.
Originally built in 1898 to house lifeboats for daring rescues out at sea, it only functioned for a few years before the build-up of shingle made it impossible to launch the boats.
In 1923, Bob Pinchen, the first man employed to look after the Point moved in and ever since it has been home to National Trust rangers, with a brief interlude during the Second World War.
But what's it like living on the Point?
Visitors often ask us what the accommodation is like. We have four bedrooms, a kitchen and office/sitting room as well as bathroom facilities upstairs and downstairs. And the lookout tower on top of the Lifeboat House has a vantage point that I’d consider to be the best view in Norfolk.
On a clear day you can see Beeston Bump to the East and Scolt Head Island to the West, while before you lies the scenic Blakeney Harbour full of boats in the summer. Then there are the coastal villages of Salthouse, Cley, Blakeney, Morston, Stiffkey and Wells.
The best job in Norfolk?
From dawn till dusk on the Point you are serenaded by the most beautiful sounds of nature, be it skylarks singing, the harsh cries of the terns, or the mournful wailing and moaning of the grey seals, plus a myriad of different wader calls and songs. Your ears are always given a treat.
Many visual feasts are also on offer – the seals scratching and yawning and the terns in a feeding frenzy that are continuously diving like a shower of white arrows onto a shoal of fish. Then there's the butterflies and day flying moths gliding and flitting through the dunes or feeding on the purple haze of sea lavender, which carpets the salt marsh in summer.
No two days are the same!
The life of a ranger is never dull. We are on call 24/7 and have to respond to situations at a minute’s notice, like a boat in distress. More common daily tasks include the continuous observation and recording of all forms of flora and fora seen on the reserve, and the protection of the breeding terns and waders.
Plus we’re often out welcoming and talking to the thousands of visitors who make the trip out to the Point every year.