Turnstone, by John Maiden, January 27, 2015

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Members of Hunstanton & District Civic Society were taken on a fascinating journey into space at their meeting last Wednesday.

This was provided by Terry Parish, a Civic Society member from Heacham, who started with his photographs of the evening sky, featuring planets clearly visible to the naked eye, but which can be greatly enhanced, even when viewed through the kind of binoculars used by bird watchers.

Apparently, the RSPB reserve at Titchwell actually provides opportunities to combine bird watching with stargazing between 4pm and 11pm on certain dates.

Through his use of photographs and an impressive array of visual aids, including a compact telescope, Mr Parish certainly inspired me to take more interest in the night sky, especially in areas that are relatively free from light pollution.

Meanwhile, back on planet Earth, there are encouraging signs that West Norfolk Council is really pulling out all the stops when it comes to obtaining a Heritage Lottery grant under the ‘Parks for People’ scheme, aimed at restoring areas of public open space to their former glory.

If successful, in the not too distant future, visitors and Hunstanton residents could see The Green looking more like it did before 1955, when the freehold passed from the le Strange Estate to Hunstanton Urban District Council.

It is to be hoped that along with old photographs from the Heritage Centre archives, the Heritage Lottery Fund will also be presented with a copy of the 1955 Conveyance, which includes a legally binding covenant, often referred to in this column, intended to protect The Green as an open space, which for many of us is almost as awe inspiring as outer space.

Civic Society chairman, Andrew Murray updated members with regard to a planning application for a roundabout on the A149 at Heacham, intended to provide vehicular access to the proposed housing estate on Redgate Hill.

If individual members are concerned at the adverse impact this would have on traffic entering and leaving the town, they should respond to the current consultation on “Site allocations and development management policies”, by sending a letter or email to West Norfolk Council before 5pm on February 23, the closing date for comments.