The Norfolk Wherry is an iconic vessel, initially used for moving cargo and people around the Broads’ network of rivers. The change in use of the wherry from cargo carrying to holiday boat, created opportunities for local boat builders to establish the Broads as a flourishing holiday destination.

The aim of this project was to create a cohesive and comprehensive suite of materials pertinent to the curriculum interpreting the wherries in context. The creation process was overseen by a skilled contractor who worked with the volunteers involved in the Trusts to support their own learning and use of existing knowledge and resources.

The three Wherry Trusts which manage seven of the eight existing wherries, will use and promote these new resources for teaching and learning opportunities as well as making them available on line.

The resources take the form of an integrated education package introducing wherries primarily to Key Stage 2 students, with material that can be utilised by Key Stages 1 and 3.  Wherries are introduced within a powerpoint presentation available for schools and the public.

Links to short videos for in-school teaching will also be available on-line via partner organisation web sites. It is intended that these can be used for pre-visit preparation and post-visit follow up.

The Education Package:

  • KS2 Powerpoint presentations were developed to illustrate the evolution and history of the wherries, function, cargoes and people who crewed the vessels
  • Wherry Race board game is also being developed.  The board game is an excellent interpretative resource for in-school use and will be played by visiting groups staying at How Hill Environmental Study Centre.  Copies of the game will also be used by the wherry-owning trusts and distributed to primary schools and other educational groups local to the Broads.  100 copies of the board game have been produced and it is tended that a future reprint of the game will allow for a wider circulation and greater engagement.
  • The constructions of a set of  3 working models of pleasure and trading wherries.  A further model of a yacht is under construction.  These can be handled, dismantled and reconstructed by students and teaching staff to provide a tangible demonstration of the features and operation of trading and pleasure wherries.  These will be distributed among wherry trusts and will be made available for loan to schools who express an interest in the wherry project.

Whilst this project is finalised the roll out across schools has been delayed due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

Grant Applicant:  Norfolk & Suffolk Broads Charitable Trust – delivered by the Broads Authority

Funding received from Heritage Lottery Fund:  £8,800

Funding received from Love the Broads: £1,000

Project completion date: January 2020

Image acknowledgement: Fleet of wherries sailing on Barton Broad
Photo: Simon Finlay For: Broads Authority © 2004


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The Nancy Oldfield Trust, based at Neatishead, have been working on a project “Wellbeing on Water” to provide free boating activities for people who are in palliative care or who have received diagnosis of a terminal illness.  Love the Broads, thanks to the exclusive sponsorship of Norfolk Broads Direct, has fully funded the purchase of new audio visual equipment for use in an outreach programme visiting groups and organisations to talk about this initiative and to promote the use of their services.

Date: 2019

Grant Applicant: Nancy Oldfield Trust
Grant Awarded: £500

(exclusively sponsored by Norfolk Broads Direct)


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