|Holme lies in the north-west corner of the county
between Hunstanton and
Thornham. Historically it marked the termination of the Peddars
Way - the famous Roman Road which may also have been an
early pilgrimage route. Today the footpath runs from
Knettishall Heath near
Thetford to the coast.
Broad Water at the
Holme Dunes Nature Reserve
The Holme Dunes nature reserve - which
is managed by the Norfolk Wildlife Trust - is a
spectacular area of sand dunes, grazing meadows and
reed beds located where the North Sea meets the Wash.
The reserve which is rich in flora and fauna provided
the impetus for Patrick Barkham's book The
Butterfly Isles (2010).
Patrick Barkham: photo
© Curtis Brown
During the 1980s Barkham used to visit the reserve
regularly with his parents for their two-week summer
holiday. Sharing an interest in butterflies - he and his
father John Barkham (an environmental scientist working
University of East Anglia) used to try and track
down and identify as many species as possible.
Inspired by this early interest in Lepidoptera,
Barkham recently embarked on a tour of the UK with the
aim of identifying all of our 59 species. The account of
his 2009 journey was subsequently published by Granta.
The book also features other Norfolk locations: such as
Hickling Broad - where he
spotted a Swallowtail and Wells
- where he ticked off the Meadow Brown. (He has cottage
in the town.)
Barkham was educated at Cambridge University and then
studied for a MA in Journalism at Goldsmith's College in
London; he now works as a feature writer for the
Norfolk is fast becoming the county-of-choice for
nature writers and we are lucky enough to have both Mark
Cocker (see Claxton) and
Richard Mabey (see Roydon) as residents.