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The visitor centre, formerly a lifeboat station
The visitor centre, formerly a lifeboat station

Blakeney Point is a National Nature Reserve near Blakeney on the north coast of Norfolk, England. It features a 6.4 km (4 mi) spit of shingle stones and sand dunes, as well as salt marshes and tidal mudflats. Land reclamation projects starting in the 17th century broadened the spit, but silted up nearby river channels. Ruins of a medieval dwelling called Blakeney Chapel and a monastery are buried in the marshes. The area has been studied for more than a century, following pioneering ecological studies by botanist Francis Wall Oliver and a bird ringing programme initiated by ornithologist Emma Turner. The reserve is important for breeding birds, especially terns, and for migrating birds in autumn. Up to 500 seals at a time gather at the end of the spit, and its sand and shingle hold a number of specialised invertebrates and plants, including the edible samphire. The spit is moving towards the mainland at about 1 m (1 yd) per year; several former islets have been covered by the advancing shingle and then lost to the sea. Managed by the National Trust since 1912, Blakeney Point lies within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and a World Biosphere Reserve. (Full article...)

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Lucca with her handler
Lucca with her handler

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Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo in 2014
Teodoro Obiang

On this day...

May 1: International Workers' Day; Easter (Eastern Christianity, 2016); Beltane in Ireland and Scotland; Law Day and Loyalty Day in the United States

Scene from Citizen Kane
Scene from Citizen Kane

Today's featured picture


Pisces is a constellation of the zodiac. Its name is the Latin plural for fish. It lies between Aquarius to the west and Aries to the east. The ecliptic and the celestial equator intersect within this constellation and in Virgo. In Greek mythology, Pisces was associated with Aphrodite and Eros, who escaped from the monster Typhon by leaping into the sea and transforming themselves into fish.

Illustration: Sidney Hall; restoration: Adam Cuerden

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