From craft demonstrations, bat box making and wildlife stalls, the first Norsey Wood open day in three years was a great success.

The Norsey Wood open day in Billericay gave visitors the chance to get a deeper understanding of the beloved wood.

Family activities included the bird of prey static display, meet the heavy horse, pond dipping for newts, face painting, Morris Dancing, plus information about badgers, bees, hedgehogs and birds.


Echo: Visitors try out pond dippingVisitors try out pond dipping


“It was our first open day in three years, and it went really well. We had a range of activities and Essex Badger Protection, RSPB and for the first time Hedgehog Haven Rescue Centre, were at the event. We decided to make it slightly low key this year rather than be overwhelmed, We have very limited car parking here so we have to be conscious that not too many visitors are going to be looking to park here,” said Dave Sweet, event organiser and committee member for Norsey Wood.

“Former ranger Chris Huggins used to run the popular event, but he retired several years ago and this is the first year it has been run since then. It is a lot of work to organise but it is worth it.”


Echo: Amazing - Wood carver Nick demonstrating his skillsAmazing - Wood carver Nick demonstrating his skills


Visitors got the chance to find out more about Norsey Wood and the best ways to help preserve it.

In 1976 the wood was acquired by Basildon District Council, and it has since been run as a local nature reserve.

The combination of varied soil and topography, together with the long history of woodmanship, has produced a rich and varied flora and fauna, recognised by the designation of the wood as a Site of Special Scientific Interest in 1979.

“Awareness of how to protect the wood is vital. Norsey Wood is different to country park, it is a special site of scientific interest and a working wood,” said Dave.

“Visitors had information on things like not to tread on bluebells to get an iconic photo, because they take a long time to grow back, and it is best to stick to the path.”

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