Roland Green at the Studio in Hickling Broad in Norfolk

Picture (c) by John Ashley Photography

Hickling Broad in Hickling Norfolk is the largest of the Norfolk Broads covering an area over 370 acres of open water. It was the first of the Thurne Nature Reserves to be established by the Norfolk Naturalists Trust who purchased the Whitesea estate in 1945 from Lord Desborough's daughter Lady Gage. Lord Desborough was an MP and had chaired the organisation that ran the Olympic Games in London in 1908. Desborough would entertain members of the Royal Family at his Hickling estate and in return was invited to Sandringham.

The Norfolk Naturalists Trust was set up as a land-owning body in 1926, but is now known as the Norfolk Wildlife Trust. They manage and care for large parts of the Norfolk Broads. Hickling Broad has much to attract the visitor with an abundance of wildlife and the opportunities to view the reserve on-foot, from a 60 foot tree tower or from the comfort of an electric reed boat during the warmer months.

When you see it's wild beauty it is easy to understand why the artist Roland Green (1892-1972) lived here for many years and took inspiration from the wildlife that encroached upon his doorstep. The Studio where he stayed is available for holiday lets. Roland was not a native he was born in Rainham in Kent. He studied at the Rochester School of Art and also Regent Street Polytechnic before beginning his career as a painter of wildlife. Specialising in bird and mammal paintings. He used to hold annual one-man shows of his work at the Ackermann Galleries in London and also lectured on bird watching and how to draw birds. Particularly birds in flight.

He remained a bachelor throughout his life and lived alone on Hickling Broad for over fifty years, which if you do the math places him there before the purchase of The Norfolk Naturalists' Trust. When he sent off his paintings to the world beyond, he would put a line from a verse by Kipling and the reply address simply Roland Green The Studio, Hickling, Norwich, Norfolk. He died in 1972 and was buried at Hickling Church.

Picture (c) by John Ashley Photography