Furze from a Lost Heathland

Published by timwilley on

The common gorse is appearing all over the new plantation. This seems to indicate that this little patch of North Norfolk was once a heathland. The nature of the soil seems correct, and some RAF aerial photo’s from the 1940s show a very sandy landscape with scrubby vegetation. The emerging flora – birch, broom, as well as gorse, seem to confirm that this was indeed a small heathland environment.

It’s a wonderful habitat for nesting birds, with yellowhammer, linnet and whitethroat finding santuary amongst its spiky defenses. Interestingly, faggots of gorse or ‘furze’ was once used as a fuel for bread ovens, and I wonder, if similarly, faggots of furze would have been used in the open-firings of pre-history? I guess there’s only one way to find out!