Sunday and with sun forecast all day we could get a walk in. It’s been a bit wet of late so we haven’t had a chance for a couple of weeks. As everyone enjoyed my last choice I was tasked with picking another so I settled on an old ‘stomping ground’ Horsey.
We started at Horsey Mill. This drainage pump is the best preserved of these iconic Norfolk sights. It is in the hands of the National Trust and a couple of years back was given a new cap and sails. Then we crossed the very soggy marshes to the coast. For several miles on this stretch is an extensive dune system and this sand and marram grass is all that keeps the sometimes volatile North Sea from flooding the low lying freshwater Broads network. The last time the defences were breached was the terrible surge of 1953 which claimed many lives on the east coast and Continent.
A big attraction on the beach here are the Grey Seals that from November come ashore to give birth. The area is cordoned off and has a lot of voluntary wardens on duty to stop idiots trying to get close. There were hundreds of people there so we only gave it a few minutes just to get some shots.
The seals are ungainly on land but pretty nimble in the water. They are not my most favourite mammal but the pups are quite cute.
Leaving the madding crowd far behind we headed across some fields to a raised drainage ditch bank. This led us to the ruins of Brograve wind pump. On the way was a small herd of ‘winter swans’ mostly Bewicks but a couple of larger Whoopers as well. Unfortunately too distant for any decent shots.
There are many fascinating tales linked to this mill. It was said the devil chased the landowner here and beat on the door leaving hoof marks. Annoyed at the marshes being drained the devil was said to have tried to blow the mill down, hence the angle of lean (which is actually subsidence, sorry to be a spoilsport). The drainage is now taken care of by a less romantic electric pump.
After six miles we arrived back at Horsey by dusk. Despite the last stretch of narrow path leaving our boots caked in mud all agreed it was a great day out.
Mrs H and myself wish everyone as happy a holiday period as possible in this difficult year. Keep safe and we will see you all again in ’21.