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The history of the Norfolk Broads
Potter Heigham in the 1960s (Photo- Mike Page)
Little has changed at Potter Heigham since this picture was taken in the 1960s

The Norfolk Broads may be thought of as the creation of Mother Nature, but in fact they're completely man made.

Created around the 9th or 10th Century, Norfolk settlers discovered the peat in the area could be used as a supply of natural fuel.

For more than two centuries locals dug peat - creating more than 200km of navigable Broads.

When tides began to rise, the water filled the now 'peatless' holes to create what we now call the Broads.

Back in the 16th Century, Norwich was the second largest City's in the country, only smaller than London.

It's vast supply of wool and agricultural produce were exported throughout the world from the port of Great Yarmouth, and the Broads were an ideal way of transporting goods around the county.

Norfolk Wherry ships were an iconic sight of the Broads and a few still sail today. You can take a trip on the Wherry Albion and the Wherry Hathor has recently reached it's 100th birthday.

Nowadays Norfolk's waterways are mainly used by tourists who choose to spend a bit of time with nature.

The Norfolk Broads are home to species that you cannot find anywhere else in the world. The Swallowtail butterfly, for example, is only found in certain areas of the Broads.

It is also the only place in the UK where Cranes breed in the wild.


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