Rhododendrons blooming early in Sheringham Park

There is a sign an early spring could be on the way with flowers already blooming in north Norfolk which do not usually put in an appearance until around April time.

Some rhododendrons at Sheringham Park, which has 80 different species of the plant, are already making an appearance, despite many not normally flowering until between April and June time.

There are already four species of rhododendron in bloom, with several more on the verge of showing their colours.

According to head gardener Graham Brennan, it is normal for some species of the plant like 'Christmas Cheer' to be in bloom in the park at this time of year, but this year is an exceptionally early show for several of the species of rhododendrons.

Mr Brennan said; 'We can only speculate on the reason for this early display, the plants may have responded well to the recent relative mild weather, following the extremely cold pre-Christmas temperatures.'

He also said it could be a sign of an earlier spring, and is now predicting a bumper year for colour at the park, which is run by the National Trust, as most of the plants are already showing larger then normal flower buds.

There are a number of half-term activities being held at the park, including a Nature Detectives trail running from Saturday, February 19 – Sunday, February 27 from 10am - 3pm each day.

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The cost is �2 per trail (which includes a prize). For more information, call 01263 820550.

There is also an Animal Tracks and Signs event being held on Saturday, February 19 and Monday, February 21 from 10.30am - midday,

The cost is �3.50 for children, �1.50 for adults. Booking is essential on 01263 820550.