5 little known facts about the Norfolk Broads

Broadland reeds by FionaG-Draws licensed under Creative Commons 4.0
Here at Waveney River Centre, we love our location. We think that the Norfolk Broads are a rather special and unique part of the UK to enjoy a holiday. Whether it’s afloat, under canvas, a lodge or a hotel room, it’s the perfect place to relax and unwind. Here are five lesser known trivia facts about our delightful area.

1. Novel inspiration

Relive your childhood by once again reading Swallows and Amazons. This series of books written by Arthur Ransome tells the tales of Broads-based adventures during the school holidays. Ransome was not only inspired by the Broads, he actually spent time here writing. Perhaps you’ll be inspired too?

2. Captured in song

David Bowie’s seminal song, Life on Mars, contains the lyrics, “From Ibiza to the Norfolk Broads”. The song appeared on Bowie’s Hunky Dory album. Since 2016, and Bowie’s death, this album has been bought over 100,000 times. That’s a great many people listening to that one line!

3. It’s man made!

Despite it being an area of natural beauty and wonder, the Broads were actually man made. It probably all happened quite unexpectedly too. Medieval peat excavations had left the area with empty pits. The sea levels began to rise and the pits began to fill and flood. By the end of the 14th century, the Broads were formed from the abandoned and flooded pits. What a wonderful man-made accident!

4. Rare species abound

The Broads are home to 25% of the UK’s rarest species. Even species considered extinct in the UK have been sighted at the Norfolk Broads. The Fen Raft spider was spotted here in 1986, and the Swallowtail butterflies can only be found here. That’s why the area is heavily protected and monitored to preserve our rare species.

5. Environmentally friendly

Even before the term became fashionable, the Broads were environmentally friendly. Norfolk Broads’ reed has been a traditional thatching material for centuries. It grows naturally, without any intervention. Its harvesting and cutting stimulates the ecosystem, making the reed grow stronger each year. That’s how truly incredible this area is! Why not visit it for yourself and discover more?