Book yourself a visit to the tulip fields at Hillington
Taking pictures of beautiful fields of tulips in Norfolk has become almost as much of an annual ritual as the Hanami or Cherry Blossom season in Japan.
While snow drops and crocuses signal the end of winter and the start of spring, so the strips of red, orange, pink and yellow are often the first sign that summer is on its way.
The tulips can be seen on fields dotted about West Norfolk, and most of them will be grown by local horticulturists Belmont Nurseries, based in Terrington St Clement, the cut-flower and bulb business that was founded by Peter and Janet Ward – who continue as senior managing directors – and the day-to-day operations are now under the careful management of Mark Eves.
With lockdown restrictions on the point of lifting, people will be flocking to the countryside and the tulip fields are a natural draw. Mark and his team are aware that there is a distinct threat of people invading the fields to take pictures of the colourful display.
Rather than resorting to barriers and restrictions, Mark has come up with a fantastic compromise. Working with the Folkes Arms in Hillington and the nearby Tapping House Hospice, Mark is opening up one of the tulip fields and making it a destination for the duration of the tulip season.
The field backs on to the pub, so people can park at the Ffolkes Arms, grab a bite to eat and then tour the fields. A booking system will be in place to ensure Covid-restrictions are met, and all proceeds will go to the Hospice.
“I feel Tapping House and similar organisations have been really struggling to raise funds this past year, so it feels good to be helping out.”
A spokeswoman said that trips cannot be booked until the tulips bloom. She said: "We believe this to be any time between 20th April to the beginning of May but we will know for sure in a couple of weeks’ time and then The Ffolkes can open the booking."
For more information on Belmont Nurseries, visit: https://belmontnurseries.co.uk and to book a slot to visit the Tulip Fields, visit the Ffolkes Arms’ website: https://www.ffolkes.org.uk