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Medieval church to host national bird watching event

PUBLISHED: 10:28 07 January 2018 | UPDATED: 10:28 07 January 2018

The Friends of All Saints Church in Hemblington will be holding the annual Big Churchyard Bird Watch. Pictured, left to right, Peter Rowe, Catherine Howe, Gwendoline Slater and Susan Rowe.
Picture: ANTONY KELLY

The Friends of All Saints Church in Hemblington will be holding the annual Big Churchyard Bird Watch. Pictured, left to right, Peter Rowe, Catherine Howe, Gwendoline Slater and Susan Rowe. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2018

Amateur twitchers from across the region will be flocking to a picturesque medieval church to take part in a national bird counting survey.

The Friends of All Saints Church in Hemblington will be holding the annual Big Churchyard Bird Watch. 
Picture: ANTONY KELLY The Friends of All Saints Church in Hemblington will be holding the annual Big Churchyard Bird Watch. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

The Friends of All Saints Church, Hemblington are hosting the annual Big Churchyard Bird Watch on Saturday, January 27.

This is the third year the event has been staged at the site as part of the Big Garden Birdwatch from the Royal Society for the Protections of Birds (RSPB).

Last year around 500,000 people across the nation took part.

Susan Rowe, secretary of The Friends of All Saints Church, said: “The church’s location is quite high and isolated which means we get an interesting selection of birds.

The Friends of All Saints Church in Hemblington will be holding the annual Big Churchyard Bird Watch. Pictured, Susan Rowe.
Picture: ANTONY KELLY The Friends of All Saints Church in Hemblington will be holding the annual Big Churchyard Bird Watch. Pictured, Susan Rowe. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

“All are encouraged to come along and help us record how many birds we see each hour.”

She added: “It’s a good event for children – they get excited when the birds arrive.”

Since the last bird watch feeding stations have been placed around the church site - increasing the number of visiting birds.

Local naturalist David Bryant will be on hand throughout the day to help with bird identification while a selection of binoculars and telescopes are available for the public to use.

The Friends of All Saints Church in Hemblington will be holding the annual Big Churchyard Bird Watch. Pictured, is the belfry ladder which needs replacing.
Picture: ANTONY KELLY The Friends of All Saints Church in Hemblington will be holding the annual Big Churchyard Bird Watch. Pictured, is the belfry ladder which needs replacing. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

The annual event allows those in the local community who may not hold particularly strong religious beliefs to enjoy the beauty of the church and its surroundings.

Ms Rowe said: “We recognise some people don’t attend the church regularly but still want to support it as a community asset.

“It really is a beautiful little building and that is what inspires people like me.

“It’s a good opportunity to look around the church and churchyard and admire the unique St Christopher wall painting.”

She added: “Hot soups and drinks will be available, plus, as it’s Hemblington, there will be cake.”

Previous years have seen a wide selection of birds visit the church, including buzzards, dunnocks, starlings and kestrels.

The Big Churchyard Bird Watch will take place between 10am till 2pm at All Saints Church, in Church Lane, Hemblington.

For more information on the event call 01603 715804 or visit www.hemblingtonchurch.org.uk

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