The Great Bear Hunt returns to Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden, at South Walsham, on Saturday, March 21 and will run until the autumn.

The 10 bears carved by Fairhaven volunteer Andy Usher have been in hibernation over the winter and are ready for another season in the garden. There are also two additional bonus bears, recently carved by Andy, for visitors to discover.

Armed with a trail map, showing location clues, families can have fun hunting the bears, learn about the trees in the garden and make up names for the bears.

Andy Usher explained: “I have volunteered in the garden for the last six years. I am chainsaw qualified, bought a carving saw and began experimenting with creating animals. This led to my idea to carve the bears out of Fairhaven wood and give families a fun activity. All the bears are next to well-known trees and the idea is for children to discover some of the species that make up the woodland garden, as well as enjoy hunting the bears.”

Published in Norfolk Guide

The gardening team and volunteers at Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden, are working on their annual winter hazel coppicing campaign. Every year they coppice a section of hazel on rotation, using a battery operated chainsaw to minimise the noise.

This ancient woodland management practice involves cutting young stems down to a stump. The tree then regrows and is cut again on a seven year cycle. All the young stems are used. They are sold in plant sales as pea sticks and bean poles and they are also being bundled up into faggots, which will build up the paths on sections of the Broads and Ranworth Walks.

Notcutts Norwich Garden Centre have donated end of season bulbs to Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden.

The gift was facilitated by Ray Etheridge, one of Fairhaven's regular garden volunteers, who works at Notcutts. Ray explained: “Every year Notcutts donates end of season stock to charity. I suggested that Fairhaven would be a good location for our bulbs and was delighted to be able to bring four sacks of daffodils, along with tulips, and crocus to plant in the garden.”

Fairhaven Gardener Lydia Sutton is pictured with Ray planting some of the bulbs.

Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden at South Walsham, staged its tenth annual Fun Dog Day and Dog Show on Sunday, September 8.

The Dog Show's 11 categories, including best mover, best sausage catcher, cutest face, best crossbreed, prettiest bitch, handsomest male and best family raised £386 for Great Yarmouth based CARE Dog Rescue, www.care-uk.com.

Nicola Cook from Great Yarmouth won Best in Show with her English Cocker Spaniel, Myrtle, along with Prettiest Bitch puppy to the three years old. 

Matthew Wilson from Lowestoft won Reserve Best in Show with his Lurcher, Lily, along with the dog the judge would most like to take home category. Lilly was also second in best sausage catcher. 

Event organiser, Georgina Angel said: “I would like to thank all the owners and their dogs for taking part in our Dog Show and making it such a success. We are really pleased to be donating £386 to CARE Dog Rescue.”

Published in Press Releases

Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden is in Garden News Magazine's Best 100 Gardens in the UK for the second year running. The Best 100 Gardens poll, which was voted on by the magazine's readers, also gave Fairhaven third place in the Midlands region (which includes East Anglia).

Louise Rout, General Manager, Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden said: “We are thrilled to be in Garden News Magazine's Best 100 Gardens again and would like to thank everyone who voted and helped us achieve third place in the Midlands. Our gardening team work so hard to care for the garden and the Best 100 Gardens poll is a wonderful endorsement of their work.“

The garden is open daily from 10am to 5pm . Free entry to tearoom (opens 9.15am), gift shop and plant sales.

There is wheelchair access throughout the garden, including a Sensory Garden and an accessible boat for trips on the broad from April to October (additional charge).

Published in Norfolk Guide

Head to Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden this summer, explore the garden and enjoy the popular Great Bear Hunt with additional Teddy Bears' Picnic, plus the Tree-Mendous trail, Den Building, the tree swing and Wild Wednesdays, craft related wildlife activities every Wednesday during the school holidays (11am to 3pm).

All the activities are included in the garden entry charge, which is £6.85 for adults, £6.60 for concessions, £3.95 for children (5-16) and under 5 free.

Volunteer Andy Usher has carved 10 bears from Fairhaven wood to create the Great Bear Hunt. The bears are located throughout the garden next to trees and shrubs. It's a fun way to learn about the woodland and get out and about in the garden.

Andy has also created a special summer Teddy Bears' Picnic area and a Bear Swing. Children can borrow one of our teddy bears at visitor reception, or bring their own and enjoy some quality bear time.

The black headed gull colony at Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden is having a successful breeding season nesting on wooden rafts on the garden's private broad.

Trevor 'Tabs' Taberham volunteer wildlife warden explains: “The wooden rafts have been moored on the broad by the gardening team and have proved very popular with the black headed gulls. Some of the gulls have nested on the top of wooden posts that have cavities in the top, a precarious position to be in, as one false step and the chick falls into the water.

Fortunately the wooden rafts are fitted with floating gangplanks which the chicks happily use to get back onto the rafts and luckily the parents continue to feed them.”

Trevor 'Tabs' Taberham (80), volunteer Wildlife Warden at Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden, South Walsham has had his access throughout the garden greatly improved by the garden's acquisition of a new mobility scooter.

The mobility scooter, one of a small 'fleet' of four scooters that visitors to the garden can borrow in return for a donation, is very important to Tabs as it means he can continue as a volunteer. 

Tabs said: “Without the mobility scooter, I would no longer be working as Wildlife Warden at Fairhaven. Due to the onset of rheumatism in my hips, plus sciatica, both of which are very painful, I find it difficult to walk more than 25 metres without having to sit down. Now with the mobility scooter I can lead my Walk on the Wildside and Evening Birdsong guided tours and get to every corner of the garden in minutes. I can easily carry my buckets of bird food, my mini tool kit, small first aid kit, my two cameras and water bottle, most of which I would struggle to take with me, if I was on foot.”

Keith Simpson MP for Broadland visited Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden today, to officially open the new floating viewing platform, overlooking the garden's private broad. 

The platform was designed and constructed by Fairhaven Gardener, Pete Taylor. It is 4m x 4.5m and sits on more than 40 double Aqua-Dock plastic floating modules. The platform cost £4,500 to build, funded by visitors' gift aid donations. It is fully accessible and will soon have a new picnic table made from recycled plastic.

Louise Rout, Manager Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden said: “It was pleasure to welcome Mr Simpson and show him the garden at this lovely time of the year. Pete Taylor has built a wonderful platform, which I am sure will be thoroughly enjoyed by all who take in the view of the Broad. Thank you so much to our visitors' for the gift aid donations, which have made the project possible.”

Councillor Margaret Stone, Chairman Norfolk County Council and Councillor Judy Leggett, Chairman Broadland District Council and children from Fairhaven Primary School visited Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden at South Walsham on Friday, April 5, to plant a new bed of primula denticulata, the drumstick primula, to mark English Tourism Week.

Louise Rout, Manager, Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden said: “The new primulas border will enhance our wonderful collection of primulas, which are at their best during the second of May. I would like to thank the Chairman of Norfolk County Council and the Chairman of Broadland District Council, along with the children from Fairhaven Primary School for helping us celebrate English Tourism Week. The new primula border will enhance our wonderful collection of primulas, which are at their best during the second of May.

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