How Hill Trust, 2013
Our guest was Simon Partridge,
Director of the How Hill Trust in
Ludham. If your group is looking for
an enthusiastic, entertaining and
informative speaker, then this is your
man. An hour flew by without his once
referring to notes. Plenty of historical background, excellent photographs and bits of easily digestible science. But it was clearly the people that counted. Quote: “The best bit about the job is being Frank’s boss”.
How Hill started as a Nineteenth Century holiday home for a wealthy family with mustard connections. Now it is a Twenty-first Century hothouse of environmental and social education for a generation of children so often sadly separated from their natural heritage.
That sounds grand, doesn’t it? It’s only a 56 feet high mound of sand and gravel, but it’s a mountain in The Broads, surrounded by a water world of marsh, meadow and river. The children stay in a large thatched house, go on the river, visit the marshes, learn how to thatch, explore the Secret Garden and go dyke-dipping.
They are astonished by the quiet, thrilled by the dark, and will remember the community life for ever. I’ve even heard that Brownies have sometimes been seen in the woods.
On top of all this – grown-ups are allowed there as well! The Secret Garden, a water garden in a partly drained grazing marsh, is now open all year. Best times are May-June for flowering shrubs and scent and October for autumn colour. This is a garden with status, having Kew connections and an early Rothschild backing. Butterflies galore, pond-life and three kinds of deer.
And not too many yards up the track is the volunteer-run tearoom – limited opening hours, but the best home-made cakes in the business.
How Hill is well worth a visit (or several). There is plenty of parking and no entrance fee – so you should all look out for the honesty boxes. Click on this box to go straight to the How hill Trust website:
There is lots more on the website, including adult holiday courses, howhilltrust.org.uk.