Footpath improvements at Horsey Windpump and Mere
Visitors to the National Trust’s Horsey Windpump can now enjoy this iconic Broads heritage site more easily thanks to accessibility improvements which have been carried out in collaboration with the Broads Authority.
The full length of the Horsey Windpump footpath – which runs from the car park to the drainage mill, extending to the viewing point overlooking Horsey Mere - has been widened and resurfaced to make it wheelchair, pushchair, and pram friendly.
Working with a listed building required complex logistics to ensure that, for example, the small bridge by the mill could bear the weight of construction vehicles. In addition, a new drain had to be installed in front of the mill that would not impact on the listed building.
Andrew Walters, Broads Authority Waterways and Recreation Officer, who managed the project said: “Any construction project so close to an important listed building like Horsey Windpump obviously needed to be carried out with sensitivity, both to the building itself and to ensure the safety of the many people who still visited whilst the work was being carried out.”
Chris Bielby, Countryside Manager, National Trust Norfolk Coast & Broads, says: “The important aim of this project was to enable us to make Horsey Windpump more accessible for everyone, including wheelchair users, people with limited mobility, and families with pushchairs and prams.”
“The feedback from visitors since the path was completed has been incredibly positive. Horsey Windpump is a great place for people of all ages to come together on a day out and I am delighted that the new footpath makes it an even more accessible and welcoming place for everyone.”
“We are grateful to the Broads Authority and the Buxton family for their support in making these improvements possible.”
Andrew added, “The path, which was largely funded by DEFRA’s Access for All programme, has also made the stunning views across Horsey Mere accessible to more people.”
The work has been completed in time for the summer holidays when the site is a popular destination for holidaymakers and local people alike.
While many visitors come to see inside the 111-year-old drainage mill, and to enjoy spectacular views of the Broads from the top of the mill, Horsey Windpump is not just a favourite with heritage enthusiasts.
With a café serving a wide range of hot beverages, cakes, scones and more, and picnic spots and tables offering wonderful views of the windpump, it is also a fantastic spot to soak up the atmosphere and enjoy a picnic.
The National Trust’s staff and volunteers provide family-centred activities throughout the summer holidays, including a series of themed events and craft activities for children to enjoy. See: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/visit/norfolk/horsey-windpump/events for full details.
The surroundings of Horsey Windpump, including its peaceful orchard and garden, are also a haven for wildlife. It is one of the special few places within the Broads National Park where Swallowtail butterflies can be seen, with sightings of the iconic rare butterfly having again been recorded this year. In addition, wildlife boat trips are available from Horsey Mere, through Ross’s Wildlife Boat Trips.
Friday 28 July 2023