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Wild About Hethersett


When it comes to nature, Hethersett has plenty to shout about. 

Now a new book “Wild About Hethersett” has published findings of a year long biodiversity survey in the village. 

Throughout 2011. local residents were encouraged to jot down sightings of birds, animals, insects, plants and a details of a host of other nature related subjects. Numerous people entered into the spirit by taking photographs, writing poetry and keeping nature diaries. 

Now the findings have been brought together in what is described as “An Almanac of Biodiversity.” 

The publication has been part funded by a legacy from leading environmentalist, former chairman of the Hethersett Environmental Action Team (HEAT) and chair of Hethersett Parish Council George Beckwith who died a couple of years ago. 

“We wanted to produce something that would be a lasting project in George’s memory, something slightly different and something he would have appreciated with his love of nature, the environment and poetry,” said leading HEAT member Dr Anne Edwards who has been instrumental in designing and putting the publication together. 

“We wanted Wild About Hethersett to look like a scrapbook and not be too formal. So we used a variety of typefaces and designs. The response we got from local people was excellent. I know at first a few people wondered how we were going to fill a book but people really entered into the spirit of the project with their observations and willingness to share their experiences,” Dr Edwards said. 

“It is vital that we continue to fight to save the local environment. We don’t want people to look back in 30 years’ time and remark that they used to have birds and animals in the village,” Dr Edwards added. 

“The survey encouraged  residents to go out and observe things that they might otherwise have missed and this was a vital part of what we were trying to achieve,” said environmentalist Colin Ward. 

The result is a 72 page glossy and highly colourful publication that moves through the year with text, photographs, weather information and even some historical data from the past 55 years. It concludes with an original poem entitled “Naturally” which was written by George Beckford in 2004. 

“Wild About Hethersett” is a limited edition publication of 200 with well over half being sold at a launch morning at Hethersett Methodist Church. Copies are available at £4 each from Dr Edwards on 01603 812309 or via e-mail at 

The publication looks like being a sell-out, but its legacy will live on through a regular column in the quarterly Norfolk Wildlife Trust magazine for South Norfolk “Swift” where further observations from Hethersett will be featured on a regular basis.