Pensthorpe – drawing birds in North Norfolk

We paint at Pensthorpe at a wonderful time of year for the meadows, birds, bees and butterflies – join us for one or two days (but... Read more

£75 pp/day
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14 Sep - 15 Sep 2023

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Pensthorpe Natural Park

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Drawing, watercolours, outdoor sketching tricks and fun

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Mark Boyd

An exciting two-day workshop with insights into drawing birds and wild places. Open your eyes to the character of birds and butterflies, and enthuse your drawings and paintings with the beauty of the natural world.

We paint at Pensthorpe at a wonderful time of year for the meadows, birds, bees and butterflies – join us for one or two days (but you’ll find there’s so much to draw here that one day might not be enough!).

This is the English countryside at its best – soft colours, sculptural plants, trees and hedgerows, lakes and meadows – with an enchantment of birds that are attracted to this natural landscape.  It is a joy just to be in this gorgeous pocket of North Norfolk.

Mark will help you find a flutter of line and a simple palette of colour.  It’s an exciting time to sketch and to engage with wildlife in a deeper way.

Mark’s understanding of birds and his approach to drawing and painting wildlife is refreshing.  He is a brilliant tutor who can coach any standard of artist to love their artwork more than ever.  

Make the most of the late summer days in Norfolk with these two beautiful days of sketching.

We have picked this reserve because it’s beautiful.  It is always brimming with colour and action in both flora and fauna.

Pensthorpe is an award-winning mix of nature trails, beguiling woodland walks, and a showcase for British wildlife and nature conservation.  It is a series of gravel pits that have been made into a fantastic wildlife area, not only native birds but also wetland areas which are stunning for flowers and butterflies.  Pensthorpe is recognised as a national breeding site for many species, Long-Tailed Tits, Female Marsh Harriers, Kingfishers, Cormorants and Spotted Flycatchers.

Our top tip is to arrive early enough to have breakfast in the cafe before the day of sketching begins – both traditional and vegetarian options are amazingly tasty.

Pensthorpe is on the edge of Fakenham, a market town on the way to the coast of North Norfolk.  Surrounded by countryside, this wildlife haven was set up by visionary conservationist Bill Makins, who was a friend of Mary-Anne’s grandparents.  It has 200 acres and is one of the most bio-divserse reserves in England.  Pensthorpe is now known to millions due to Springwatch.


Days 1&2 10:00 Meet Mark in the Courtyard Cafe, Introduction to drawing on the go
11:00Sketching meadows and bird shapes in the reserve
13:00Break for lunch
14:00Finding details and colours in longer sketches and paintings
16:30Workshop ends
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£75 per day including VAT.

Price excludes: park entrance fee and lunch – please bring a picnic, or money to purchase a café lunch.

Places must be pre-booked using the form below or by calling us on 01394 382235




Pensthorpe Natural Park

Fakenham, Norfolk

NR21 0LN

Tel: 01328 851465


Pensthorpe Natural Park is situated along the main A1067 Fakenham to Norwich road, just one mile outside of the bustling market town of Fakenham.