News and Events


Wild Flower Meadow

September 2018

Late summer is one of the busiest times for the Harding’s Pits Fensibles — the noble band of volunteers who toil to maintain the community green space.   The wildflower meadow which has flourished since the spring has to be cut, and the vegetation raked up and carted away.

Unfortunately wildflowers don’t look after themselves.   If they are allowed to wilt and die down and then rot, the resulting mulch will become a solid mass which will add unwanted fertility to the soil — wildflowers do not prosper if the soil is too rich.

Regular cutting through the year would be easier, but that would destroy the habitat for the rich variety of wildlife that shares to Pits with human life and if the flower seeds were not allowed to ripen and shed into the soil the quantity of plants would diminish in the following year.

So, the experts tell us, we can give the meadow a haircut early in the year before the annual explosion of cowslips after which it must be left to grow, and it does until September.   To be honest over the years we haven’t carried out management as assiduously as we should have done, hence a lot of brute weeds, nettles especially, which of course is an indication of fertility.

That’s the growth in the rear of the picture, behind Ulysses, the tractor and his trailer and some of the Fensibles, Sally Turff, Rob Archer, Hugh Rout and Dave Marks.


Part of the meadow having been previously cut by Mike Nobbs using an Allen Scythe and allowed to wilt and dry a bit, Rob, Dave and Hugh prepare to load supervised by Sally.


Big heave, another huge pile goes into the trailer.




A pitchfork can be dangerous, Dave Marks finds a Health and Safety solution on one of the Pits’ wild crab apple trees.



Full turnout to spring-clean Harding’s Way

March 2018

Harding’s Way and the surrounding area was thoroughly cleared of rubbish on Saturday (24th March) as the Harding’s Pits Community Association (HPCA) did a re-run of the ‘Great British Spring Clean’ clear-up, which had been cancelled by snow.   Waiting until the first day of spring proved the answer and no less than 23 volunteers came along and collected thirty great sacks of cans, bottles, packets and other various unsavoury items.

“This just goes to show what can be accomplished when a large group all work together,” says Jane Dearling, the association’s chairman.   “I am delighted that so many answered the call — and even more delighted to meet people who appreciate Harding’s Pits and want to help maintain it.   It is, after all, our Doorstep Green, the property of those who live in South Lynn and the Friars and all Linnets from other areas of the town who come here to enjoy it.”

The whole area is very well used, especially by the children who walk through the natural green space on their way to and from school.   HPCA volunteers carry out regular litter picking rotas every week of the year on The Pits but with the ‘Keep Britain Tidy’ annual clean up the association thought it was time to improve the whole environment.

“Street Scene, the borough’s department which clears up all kinds of mess and does an amazing job eliminating graffiti, supplied litter sticks, hi-vis vests and gloves,” says Jane, “the HPCA pop-up canteen served hot drinks, and the morning closed with a convivial snack lunch of home-made soup and rolls.

“It is very satisfying to see all neat and clean and tidy.   We aim to make the work as enjoyable as possible, as we do with our regular monthly workdays.   Even the rain kept off — and we were obviously doing a good job because one of the many toads which inhabit the green, came to inspect.”

Several of the volunteers plan to join the regular work parties and anyone who cares to join in will be more than welcome.



2017 Annual Report and minutes of AGM

May 2017
HPCA Ltd Annual Report April 1st 2016 to March 31st 2017

Unsurprisingly it has been a satisfyingly uneventful year.   The last thing we want is to have a memorably eventful year, because, as a rule, memorably eventful years are memorable for all the wrong reasons.   All we hope for is that the brambles are kept cut back from overhanging the paths, that the bases of the mature trees can be walked round and free from the invading tendrils of brambles, that the place is as free of litter as is humanly achievable, that the grass is mown when the grass needs to be mown and heaved onto the ripe pile of cuttings which is now such a rich heap of compost we should be bagging it and selling it on.

For a variety of reasons the flower meadow wasn’t cut so often last year, and there was a concern that it would be worrisome, but consultation with Pensthorpe, who have richly flowering meadows, informed us that they never cut their meadows so we should not be concerned.

Grumbling in the distance continues the predictable rumble of development on the Riverside Development.   Drawings have been produced which hint at nearby encroachment, but nothing is concrete (pun intentional). Despite calls for the bus lane to be opened up to all traffic, this remains unlikely.   There were rumours that the pinch point on the sluice have been resolved, we are reliably informed that they remain comfortably out of reach of greedy hands and there is no immediate prospect that the bus lane will be anything more than a bus lane.   We do need to stay aware of any plans which include Harding’s Way.

Under an initiative by Keep Britain Tidy, the Great British Spring Clean was proposed for March, the first work party of the year was devoted to a massive litter pick.   The growth was minimal from the winter, so 12 bags were filled to bursting.   T’Pits remains a draw for cans, bottles, soiled nappies and general paper/plastic litter.   Occasionally we see a discarded bike or a buggy, some shoplifted contraband, or homework.   Sadly we also see bags of clothes which have been left for charity shops, stolen, opened and rummaged through then discarded.   After Guy Fawkes Night and New Years Eve we see the remains of celebrations held, which reminds us that people see t’Pits as a focal point for events in their lives, possibly because they haven’t such an amenity close at hand, something the council should note, that without t’Pits people would be very much the poorer.

Tributes are deserved to the hardy hearty band of volunteers who keep the whole thing going.   Without the reliability of committed volunteers who: keep the machines working, keep the work parties fed & watered, keep the litter down, cut, slash, rake, and go out of their way all through the year to depart from their ordinary routine to join in keeping Harding’s Pits as a much loved, much needed, maintained community resource.   To all who help us in their time and effort, thanks, thanks, and thanks, again, must be due.

Jane Dearling
24th May 2017


Hardings Pits Community Association Ltd Minutes of AGM 24th May 2017

The AGM of HPCA took place at the Live and Let Live King’s Lynn on 24th May 2017 started at 6.33pm.

Present were; Jane and Jeremy Dearling, Rick Morrish, Sally Turff, John Loveless, Phil Avery, Margaret Worledge, Mike Nobbs, Rob Archer, Hugh Rout.

Apologies from; Sue Nulty, Andrew & Lesley Stevenson, Pat Nobbs, Vicky Fairweather

Minutes of the AGM held on 18th May 2016 were received, proposed by Jeremy Dearling & seconded by Rob Archer & accepted unanimously.

The Treasurer’s report was received, proposed by Rick Morrish seconded by Sally Turff & accepted unanimously.

All existing directors & members of management group, were willing to continue. In addition to the existing directors, others were nominated and agreed to serve.   The list of directors now consists of; Jane Dearling – Chairman, Rick Morrish – Vice Chairman, Jeremy Dearling, John Loveless, Sally Turff, Hugh Rout, Rob Archer.
HPCA Ltd Management Group
Margaret Worledge –Treasurer HPCA Ltd
Phil Avery agreed to join the committee
Mike Nobbs – Company Secretary HPCA Ltd
Jeremy Dearling acted as Minute Secretary
The AGM closed at 7pm

In addition to the routine business of the AGM, the following actions were undertaken by some present;
1. Jane Dearling to approach Carol Tupper with a view of asking her to become a director.
2. Rick Morrish to ask Norfolk County Council for help with patching up the paths.
3. John Loveless to ask his son for help obtaining wood to repair the trailer floor.
4. Mike Nobbs to buy pitchforks and hay rakes.
5. Mike Nobbs to seek a buyer for the hay turner and the old tractor box.
6. Rick Morrish to investigate repairs to the whale shelter.




May 2017

Seated on his plane at Dubrovnik Airport, HPCA secretary Mike Nobbs glanced out of the window and there, trundling towards him across the airport apron was Ulysses, the Pits’ mighty workhorse.

Not Ulysses as we all know and love him — but a gleaming, polished Ulysses, resplendent in a coat of ochre paint.   Had Mike pre-loaded with rather too much Raki for the journey home?   Had Ulysses come to haunt him for abandoning his post at the Pits’ workshop for a hedonistic summer trip?   Was this a reminder of grass to be cut, brambles hacked back?

As the pilot announced take-off Mike took another look, just to be certain, and there sure enough was a Ulysses.   But this one had a more public role, towing the trailer of suitcases from departure lounge to aircraft hold.

Croatia is a country where a Ulysses is properly regarded — maintained in smart livery, contributing to aeronautical efficiency and a tribute to the tourist trade.

Mike cares devoutly for the Pits’ Ulysses.   Ensures he has all he needs to operate smoothly in all the tasks he has to perform and never over-works him.   Wraps him up securely against rain and tempest.   Guards him well, with theft-proof paint on the perimeter fences of his compound and heavy locks and chains at the entry points.

Now vigilance is going to have to be redoubled, lest Croatian thieves should seek him out.

Only Mike and co-pilot Hugh are allowed to drive Ulysses, who celebrated his 60th birthday last year — but he can be viewed on the last Saturday of the month at one of the HPCA workdays.   All are welcome to join in the rest of the work — and then enjoy a convivial lunch.

Some may even be allowed to sit on Ulysses…