The largest of the Broads, NWT Hickling Broad is a year-round haven for wildlife

Correspondence by Liz Carney
Senior Media & Communications Officer

The George Edward Lodge Trust has generously offered up to 500 copies of a wonderful reprint of, Lodge’s ‘Memoirs of an Artist Naturalist’ to help support the appeal for Hickling Broad. ( I have just opened a copy which Brian has sent, and it’s marvellous).

The original edition was published shortly after war in 1946, when printing techniques and resources were still scarce. Brian has expertly edited this edition, and restored the plates to reflect the quality of Lodge’s original paintings and has enhanced the original book with an additional biography written by Lodge’s great niece Judith Magill.

Lodge plays an interesting part in the history of Hickling Broad. He was an eminent bird painter, and in the early 1900s often visited Hickling at the invitation of his friend Edwin Samuel Montagu, a member of an influential group of politicians and early conservationists, who then owned the Broad.

Jim Vincent was gamekeeper at Hickling, and kept a diary of his bird sightings. His 1911 diary records the famous discovery of breeding bittern with photographer and ornithologist Emma Turner (at Sutton, near to Hickling). Extraordinarily Montagu commissioned Lodge to illustrate the diary, and GEL painted a bird for each a day, – choosing species that Jim had written about seeing.

Jim’s diary was published in modern times as ‘A Season of Birds – A Norfolk Diary 1911’- complete with GEL’s illustrations; – which is how I came to talk to Brian and discover more about this wonderful artist. Having heard about the Hickling appeal Brian spontaneously made his generous offer of the gift of copies of the book to support the appeal.

The Norfolk Wildlife Trust is spearheading the appeal to purchase Hickling Broad, which is the largest of the 40 Norfolk and Suffolk Broads, and internationally recognised for its conservation value as a wetland. Although the Trust manages the Broad, it doesn’t own it, so when it came on the market for the first time in 200 years, it was a once in a lifetime opportunity to ensure its future for wildlife and particularly birds, – which as you said Brian, is something that George Lodge would have supported.

You may want to read a little more about Hickling Broad here: