Holme Bird Observatory (Header)

This is a polite reminder to all our members that our subscription rates have increased from 1st January. If you pay by standing order and have not yet done so, please amend your standing order to the new rate. More details can be found here. We are small charity reliant on the generosity of our supporters through membership subscriptions and donations. Why not become a member. For a minimum of £25 you can get all the benefits of being a member of the NOA. Just click the button on the right below. Or, if you would like to support us with a donation, it is very easy to do through our portal at VirginMoneyGiving. Just click the button on the right to go to our dedicated page. Thank you.

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE – NOA RESERVES TO RE-OPEN FROM MONDAY 13TH JULY 2020

We are delighted to announce that we will be welcoming visitors back to Holme Bird Observatory from Monday 13th July 2020, and we are very much looking forward to seeing you once again. Thank you to all our members and visitors for your patience and understanding during this difficult time. Please be aware that we are not yet able to restore full access.

Some restrictions must continue and these are as follows: Hempton Marsh and Walsey Hills reserves will be re-opening to visitors on 13th July, but hides on these reserves will remain closed. At Holme the following hides will remain closed for the time being: Redwell Marsh hide, Car Park hide, Sea-watching hide, Dell hide and Broadwater hide. The Bus-Stop, Dowson and Richardson hides will be accessible to one household at a time, and the viewing platform and seating area outside the cordon will be available as well, with social distancing in place. The Observatory building will also remain closed to visitors, but a member of staff will be able to come out to meet you. We do regret that for now visitors will not be able to empty moth traps with our staff, but we will retain specimens of special interest for visitors to view at a safe distance. We will continue to charge day permit fees.

We are very sorry not to offer a fuller visitor experience just yet, but these measures are for everyone's safety and we do appreciate your understanding. We will continue to review hide closures, and will post any changes on our website.

'DON'T COME YET' PLEA FROM NORFOLK COAST

The NOA would urge anyone planning to come to the area over the bank holiday weekend to wait for a better time. Please see the press release below from Norfolk Coast Partnership:

Press release - for immediate release 21.05.20

‘Don’t come yet’ plea from Norfolk Coast

Severe lack of open car parks, toilets and catering facilities puts visitors and residents in the area of outstanding natural beauty at risk, Norfolk Coast Partnership says
 
Following the government’s announcement on Sunday, 10 May that people can ‘drive to other destinations’, the people, communities and wildlife of the Norfolk Coast are asking visitors not to visit at the present time to avoid an influx in visitors over the forthcoming bank holiday weekend.
With many car parks still closed; public conveniences closed; and businesses with conveniences also closed there is a severe lack of provision on the coast for visitors. There are fears that there will be traffic issues, and social distancing will be difficult to maintain.

Visitors to the Norfolk Coast are being urged to check the situation with car parks and toilets before travelling and, if deciding to travel, be considerate to the local communities by parking sensibly, ensuring litter and other waste is taken home, and maintaining social distancing.

It is also a critical time of year for ground nesting birds, which are just settling down to nest and, taking advantage of lack of footfall, are often nesting in places they may not normally. A sudden influx of visitors puts the fragile nature of the coast at risk, as well as the local communities that live and work here.

Organisations are working hard to put safety measures in place for social distancing, protecting wildlife and reopening provision such as toilets and car parks. Announcements will be made by individual organisations and businesses when this is the case via their websites and the media.

Estelle Hook, Manager of the Norfolk Coast Partnership said: "While it is not in the nature of the Norfolk Coast Partnership to encourage people to stay away, it is currently vital that we do so to ensure these special places are not overwhelmed."

"In many places on the coast there is not the infrastructure to support the necessary social distancing or to ensure that visitors have the facilities they would usually expect, such as car parks or toilets."

She added: "Partners across the coast have convened a working group to look at ways of making access as safe as possible going forward. The organisations responsible for looking after this wonderful coast continue to do so and are keen to welcome visitors back once facilities are open and working but at the present time it is safer to stay away."