1 SEPTEMBER 1939, Page 18

A Restocked Sanctuary

The greatest of all the English sanctuaries is, I hear, re- covering rather more quickly than was expected from the inroad of the sea. This flooding disaster that did so much damage in and about the Norfolk Broads killed off a very large proportion, not only of the fresh water fish, but of most forms of insect life. The absence of insects and other creatures routed the birds. Hickling Broad was a miracle of wild life, brought there in some measure by the skill of Mr. Jim Vincent in making the place ideally habitable. I remember nearly treading on a redshank's nest ; and one had to be almost as careful not to disturb nests, of very various sorts, as if one were treading among the colonies of tern at Blakeney Spit. It will take Hickling some time yet to recover its old richness, but populations of fish as of insects may recover with mysterious rapidity. I shall never forget a walk some few years after the War in the shell-pitted district by Ypres. It was a thickly populated pond land, where already duck, frogs, even fish and water insects, and reeds and rushes had found a home.