Thursday, 31 March 2016

The Ovington Ramblers: Sparham Pools

Maureen Simmons

Continuing our mission to visit every NWT site this year, this week we went to Sparham Pools, former gravel pits near Lyng.

the bridge
Although there is a small car park at the site, we decided to leave the car near the popular Fox public house and walk the last quarter-mile to the lakes. This way we could see the beautiful ancient bridge over the river Wensum, which today was rushing and roaring after the recent heavy rains – nature showing her wild strength.

Sparham pools
Arriving at Sparham Pools we were greeted with a cacophony of bird song and the honking and clacking of wild geese. We also heard our first chiff chaff of spring.

The “pools” are actually vast lakes, but there is a well marked pathway all the way round, much of which is on higher ground providing excellent views across the water.  On the lakes we saw Canadian and greylag geese, swans, coots and a lone great crested grebe. Such a shame there was only one grebe – it would have been a special treat to watch their unique courtship display.

Marsh marigold
As always, there was plenty of gorse in flower and the honey suckle was stirring among the leafless branches of shrubs and trees. The flag irises were shooting up in the shallow water at the edge of the pools and we saw a beautiful clump of marsh marigolds reflecting their bright yellow flowers in the water. Although the marigold blooms from March to June, it is also known as mayflower – the name of the ship that carried the Pilgrim fathers to America.

This is truly a lovely part of Norfolk and well worth a visit. You never know – the great crested grebe may have found a mate!

The Ovington Ramblers are a small group of friends who have decided in their 20th year of walking together that we will try to visit all the Norfolk Wildlife Trust reserves in their 90th Anniversary year.

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