Mark Cocker

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A great new adventure began in 2012 when I acquired a little over five acres of neglected fen woodland on the banks of the River Yare. The intention over the next years is to upraise its wildlife potential through practical work and with the support of others, but especially my friend, poet Matt Howard. Blackwater Blog is a way of recording these slow-won achievements and celebrating this glorious patch of wild Norfolk.


This month Blackwater received an invasion of little workers who are offering to help with the many management tasks. Even though some of them were only the size of slender groundhoppers I was amazed by how well they worked. As one of their fathers observed (and many thanks to them too!) it was like watching an army of ants. Very soon the sallow scrub was in rapid retreat off the meadow. Eventually, however, it was necessary to divert from all the scrub-bashing fun to get down to some serious business - leaping off slub mountain.


They are wonderfully marshalled by Rose Hoare, grandaughter of the remarkable Ted and Phyllis Ellis. Rose runs the Wheatfen Forest School CIC, a provider of nature-based education based in south Norfolk. The Young Explorers is a fortnightly group for children aged 8-11 who are particularly interested in natural history. Website coming soon! In the meantime contact for more information or look them up on Facebook. Hopefully it is the start of great things at Blackwater.

© Mark Cocker 2013



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