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Closed due to high winds - parks to shut and events cancelled over severe weather warning

PUBLISHED: 17:04 09 August 2019 | UPDATED: 07:28 10 August 2019

Struggling in the wind and rain at King's Lynn. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Struggling in the wind and rain at King's Lynn. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Archant

As the region braces for a lashing of severe wind and rain weekend events are being cancelled over safety fears.

High wind and sandy waves along the north beach in Lowestoft. Picture: Georgina BrownHigh wind and sandy waves along the north beach in Lowestoft. Picture: Georgina Brown

Breydon Water is expected to be closed for a time on Saturday as 50mph winds hit the region.

Felbrigg Hall and Holkham Park will both be closed, and various events have been called off.

The Beccles Harvest Moon Festival, Houghton Festival and planned park runs have all been cancelled.

The whole of East Anglia is under a yellow weather warning for strong winds this Saturday.

And parts of Norfolk are under a weather warning for rain until and 23.59pm on Friday.

Because of the forecast conditions Houghton Festival, which was due to run from midday today to Monday afternoon, was cancelled just hours before it was due to start.

Sheringham parkrun. Picture: Ally McGilvraySheringham parkrun. Picture: Ally McGilvray

Phil Garner, for local forecaster Weatherquest, said: "The rain will begin creeping in on the region around 10pm on Thursday and continue through the early hours before clearing up around 9.30am on Friday morning.

"We're looking at about 4-10mm overnight.

"While Friday will be mostly dry with a few showers in the southwest of the region later winds are due to start up in the afternoon and Saturday could see winds of 40-45mph."

Mr Garner added said: "People have to be a bit careful with trees in leaf, the strong winds mean we could have branches down and if people are out their camping in nature, the strength of the winds could be quite disruptive."

Holkham Park and the cycle and boat hire will be closed through Saturday because of the high winds forecast.

It will include the courtyard cafe, gift shop, walled garden and ropes course.

Deer enjoying the sunshine at Holkham ParkDeer enjoying the sunshine at Holkham Park

Both the Sheringham and Blickling Parkrun have been cancelled with others keeping an eye on the weather as Norfolk prepares for a yellow warning for strong winds this Saturday.

Sheringham ParkRun said on Facebook: "It is with regret that together with our hosts the National Trust at Sheringham Park, we have made the decision to cancel the event tomorrow due to very high winds being forecast.

"Whilst we hate to disappoint participants, as we have said before, we will never gamble with people's safety and that includes our volunteers as well as the runners."

The ParkRun scheme is a free and timed 5k walk, jog or run at 9am every Saturday.

Runs are organised by volunteers and are open to all ages and abilities.

Volunteers at Sloughbottom ParkRun will keep runners updated on Facebook if their session will still go ahead.

Breydon Water sunset walk.Breydon Water sunset walk.

Organisers on Beccles have been forced to cancel the town's only open-air festival following the severe weather warning.

Beccles Harvest Moon Festival, which was set to take place this weekend, has been cancelled in "the interest of the public safety".

Lisa Hampson, one of the festival organisers, said: "We had no choice. Basically, what we were told is we have to cancel this weekend's event in the interest of public safety.

"I am deflated - our eight months of hard work is for nothing.

"But I couldn't have done anything at all - all it takes is a loose branch in the wind and someone could be dead."

Boaters planning to make use of the Braods have been issued a warning as Breydon Water is likely to close for a time on Saturday.

The Broads Authority (BA) has warned inexperienced boaters to seek advice before heading on to the water, and advised people to stay "securely moored" to avoid difficulties.

A BA spokesperson said: "We are taking the unusual step of issuing advice for boaters this weekend following a Met Office severe weather warning.

"High winds with gusts of up to 50MPH on Saturday along with a risk of thunderstorms will pose challenges for even the most experienced boaters on the Broads.

"Inexperienced boaters should seek advice from their boat hire yards and Broads Authority advice is that you should stay securely moored to avoid getting into difficulties during very high winds."

Head ranger Lucy Burchnall said: "It is rare that we get these sorts of conditions during the peak holiday season and many visitors will be taking to the water for the first time on Saturday having arrived in the Broads National Park to start their holiday.

"We urge visitors to listen carefully to the safety advice given by boat hire companies and to take sensible precautions.

"High winds can make manoeuvring a boat very tricky.

"It is also possible that trees along riverbanks may be affected so we advise everyone to take sensible precautions.

"It is also highly likely that Breydon Water will be closed for a period on Saturday until the worst of the weather has passed."

Sunday morning is set for a continuation of gusts of up to 40mph but by the afternoon winds are set to ease off with a few showers across the county taking their place.

Is your event cancelled due to the weather disruption? Email dominic.gilbert@archant.co.uk.

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