Winter at Sheringham Park
Sheringham Park does not go into winter hibernation, the walks are open daily dawn to dusk. Coastal views, wildlife and flowering plants can all be enjoyed at this time of year.
Many of the coastal views you can still enjoy today were part of Humphry Repton’s design for the park back in 1812. There is no better time to enjoy them than on a clear winter’s day. You can also climb the 192 steps to the top of the gazebo viewing tower for unrivalled views of the North Norfolk coastline.
Winter is not without its colour; in all but the most severe weather we have at least two species of rhododendron in flower. Snowdrops are a feature of the park in the new year, including the ’Upcher ’ variety named after the family that resided here from 1811 to 1985. Temperature dictates when camellias start to flower, if the weather is mild they can burst into flower as early as January.
The bare trees provide us with good viewing opportunities to see the birdlife of the park. Nuthatch, great spotted woodpeckers and jays are very vocal in the woodland, where winter thrushes can sometimes be seen. Flocks of brambling and chaffinch can also be present depending on food supply.
Yellowhammers sometimes in good numbers are visible both on Weybourne Heath and in the arable fields down to the coast, where flocks of linnets can often be seen feeding. The sound of skylarks will often accompany a walk along the cliff tops.
If you cast your eyes skyward you may spy skeins of pink-footed geese flying overhead or buzzards soaring.
Crossbills are early breeders, often in late winter flocks can be heard moving amongst the conifers. Song and mistle thrush start singing in the new year advertising for a mate and proclaiming their breeding terrority.
Other Wildlife Highlights
Roe and muntjac deer can be observed on a quiet winter walk. Damp and mild conditions can be the trigger for toads and frogs to migrate to water. Watch where you are walking as the larger females with males vying for their attention occupy the paths near the ponds.
Sunny days in late winter can also provide the opportunity to see adders basking in the sun. A thrill for many but not all visitors.