Swallow family take centre stage at Wroxham Barns
PUBLISHED: 16:02 01 June 2013 | UPDATED: 16:02 01 June 2013
It’s “Lights, Camera, Action!” at Wroxham Barns as the stage is set for a summer soap opera with a difference.
The stars of the show – a family of swallows - have flown in from Africa, just as staff at Wroxham Barn’s junior farm completed preparations for their arrival.
Now a “Swallowcam” is beaming their antics live from a barn to a giant screen in the farm’s small animal centre so that visitors can watch their every move.
The swallows make fascinating viewing, as they repair their mud and straw nests from previous years and settle down to raise their chicks.
For the second year running, the nests at Wroxham Barns have been fitted with hidden cameras so that visitors to the junior farm can watch the family drama unfold on the big screen throughout the summer.
Swallows are delicate birds with dark, glossy blue backs, red throats, pale bellies and long tail streamers, each year migrating from the warmer continents to the UK. During migration they can fly 200 miles a day.
The little birds have long been recognised as icons of the British summer, as the sight of them swooping and diving across the UK landscape heralds the start of the warmer months.
Ian Russell, owner of Wroxham Barns, said: “Swallows spend most of their time in flight, so it is a special experience to be able to see them up close.
“We are very pleased that they have returned to the junior farm again this year to raise their young, and are delighted to be able to show their activities live on screen.”
Jo Hand, from the RSPB, said: “A brand new RSPB unit has just opened at Wroxham Barns, offering all sorts of activities and information, and it’s marvellous to have the swallowcam up and running again this year.
“There are some fantastic opportunities to learn more about the special wildlife of the Broads and plenty of ways of keeping youngsters entertained throughout the holidays.”
RSPB activities at Wroxham Barns include a free wildlife challenge sheet. Youngster are invited to complete it and return it to the new RSPB hub or The Gallery gift shop to receive a free Sounds of Garden Birds CD.
Wroxham Barns’ junior farm is open every day from 10am to 5pm. Entry costs £5.75 per person, with under-twos free.
Wroxham Barns is celebrating its 30th anniversary this month. Established in 1983 in a series of redundant farm buildings, it is now one of Norfolk’s most popular visitor attractions and welcomes more than 300,000 visitors a year.
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