A dozen or so enthusiastic volunteer litter pickers helped to tidy-up Wreningham, Top Row and Penny Green as part of the Big South Norfolk Litter Pick on Sunday May 15.

The volunteers spread out from the Village Hall to clean verges, paths, playing fields and other public locations across the Wreningham Parish area.

Items including windscreen wipers, clothes, lots of tin cans, plastic and glass bottles and sweet wrappers.

The effort was part of the annual Big South Norfolk Litter Pick, organised by South Norfolk Council, who lent equipment for the event.

If you would like to litter pick in Wreningham, equipment can be loaned at any time from members of Wreningham Parish Council.

Please contact Cllr Keith Morris at keith.morris@networknorwich.co.uk for details or ring 01508 488318.

Pictured above are some of the volunteer litter pickers outside Wreningham Village Hall.

March 2022 update

Test-pit digging in our community archaeology project returns this Summer. The last set of diggings’ findings are discussed in the Wreningham interim report.

The three sites selected for the second round of test-pitting are:

  • 26th June 2022 Jean will host the dig at Shelley Cottage on Wymondham Rd
  • 3rd July 2022 Val will host the dig at The Old Homestead in Top Row
  • 24th July 2022, Jill will host the dig at Willeys Croft on Church Road

Please register your interest with Steve Hickling (details below) who is co-ordinating the project and the experts who review the findings. There will be a mid-morning start at 10am. Volunteers should bring a shovel / spade / mattock or pickaxe and a trowel or sieve if you have them. Some suggest that bringing a flask of coffee and some lunch also help with motivation!

The contact for interest and question is Steve Hickling, currently working from home, but reachable at:

Historic Environment Officer, Community and Environment Services, County Hall, Martineau Lane, Norwich

Tel: 01362 869285 | Dept: 01362 869278 | Mobile: 07775687817 | email: steve.hickling@norfolk.gov.uk

August 2018 post

The Wreningham Community Archaeology Project got off to a promising start over the weekend of August 11-12 with a total of five test-pits dug in gardens around the village, reports archaeologist Steve Hickling, who is leading the project.

A sunny weekend saw pits being dug in people’s gardens on Wymondham Road, Ashwellthorpe Road, Mill Lane and the B1113 and all the test-pits yielded some interesting results:

Victorian pottery and little bits of tile were unsurprisingly found in all the test-pits and almost all also yielded prehistoric burnt flints (pot-boilers). These are flint pebbles heated in a fire and then thrown into a liquid in order to heat-up that liquid.

In prehistoric times pottery was terrible and would not survive being put on a fire to heat the contents so pot-boilers were used instead. It is thought that they were heating liquid as part of the process of dying cloth or perhaps making beer. A great number were found in Graham’s test-pit on Mill Lane.

Two of the pits yielded medieval pottery. One on Ashwellthorpe Road produced a couple of sherds, and one on Wymondham Road, behind Pear Tree Farmhouse, produced some rather large sherds. This suggests that there is medieval occupation here.

Pear Tree Farm is a lovely c.17th century timber-framed farmhouse. The test pit produced a lot of c.17th century pottery, a posthole and a layer of redeposited yellow clay, which may be spoil from a deep hole dug nearby, or the remains of a demolished clay-lump building. The medieval pottery suggests that the present house may be a rebuilding of a medieval farm.

All the artefacts recovered will be cleaned and passed to an expert for dating and describing.

What Next?

The next step is to excavate a couple more test-pits on Saturday 1st of September. It would be nice if we could have people to help with the two test-pits on the 1st September. Both are in the middle of the village. If anyone else wants to take part, please let me know on 01508481718 or email me on steve.hickling@norfolk.gov.uk.

Ashwellthorpe Road pit

Wymondham Road pit

Mill Lane pit

Wreningham Parish residents can now help keep Wreningham, Top Row and Penny’s Green litter free after the Parish Council bought litter-picking equipment which can be borrowed for free.

Sets of two litter-pickers, bag hoops and high-vis jackets are now available for residents to borrow for ad-hoc litter picking around the area. Litter picking would be done at residents’ own risk.

Sets are located at homes on the main roads in the parish and can be borrowed via a quick email or phone call as follows:

Wymondham Road and general enquiries:

Cllr Keith Morris, on 01508 488318 or at keith.morris@networknorwich.co.uk

Ashwellthorpe Road:

Cllr Hughie Glaves: Porthtowan or at: hugh.glaves@btinternet.com

Church Road, Hethel Road & Penny’s Green:

Sarah Lidington: Cloverside, Church Road or at sarahl@live.co.uk

Mill Lane

Christine Bilham: Cha-Am or 01508 489626 or at: bilham8@aol.com

Top Row 

Nicky Allen: The Birches or at: clerk.WPC@gmail.com

Pictured is Cllr Keith Morris with the litter picking equipment available for residents to borrow.

Please help us to tidy up litter in Wreningham, Top Row and Penny’s Green by joining the Big South Norfolk Litter Pick on Sunday October 10, at 2pm.

Volunteers are required to help us keep our lovely village tidy by taking part in South Norfolk’s Big Litter Pick 2021.

We will provide litter pickers, bags and holders and high-vis jackets (you can bring your own). You just need to bring yourself and, ideally, some gardening gloves or similar.

We will start at 2pm in the Village Hall Social Club and finish off with a free drink and cake in the Social Club from 3.30pm onwards.

If you have any queries, or to confirm you are coming, please email keith.morris@networknorwich.co.uk, or ring 01508 488318 – but you can just turn up.

Wreningham Parish Council has published here its proposed comments on the South Norfolk Village Clusters Consultation relating to a large proposed development in Wreningham.

We urge residents to give their views to the consultation, which you need to do by August 2 and which can be done via the Consultation website (you need to register with site before making a comment): https://vchap.exhibition.app/

The Wreningham/Ashwellthorpe/Fundenhall section can be seen here:


There are two questions relating directly to Wreningham – questions 170 and question 172.

The council’s comments are below and parishioners are welcome to pick points which they think are relevant and include them in their own submission if they wish:


Wreningham Parish Council submission to questions 170 and question 172.

QUESTION 170: Do you agree with the extent of the Settlement Limit in Wreningham and any changes proposed?

SUMMARY: Wreningham Parish Council sees no reason to have the Settlement Limit enlarged for the reasons given below.

In the current existing South Norfolk Local Plan, adopted in 2015 and covering up to 2026, ten houses were allocated to Wreningham. Since 2015 no fewer than 25 houses have been built, meaning Wreningham is already at almost double the previous set limit with no further development in the next five years.

The GNLP which resulted in the ten-house Church Road development, included the comment that Wreningham roads were at capacity. The point is repeated in this consultation document saying “The road capacity of the village is a limiting factor”.

All roads into Wreningham have considerable highways constraints in terms of narrowness of roads, twisting and turning with several blind corners – they are not conducive to the additional traffic 25 homes would introduce both during and after construction.

We would suggest that with some small scale infill development within the existing settlement limit, Wreningham will have already provided its fair share of development to meet housing targets.

A couple of new sites are about to enter the planning process we believe – one for two houses at Pear Tree Cottage on Wymondham Road and one for around six homes at the brownfield former Spratts Coaches site at the main village crossroads. Both are much more suitable developments, on already developed brownfield locations, within the existing settlement limit and not facing the flooding and drainage issues which a development of 25 houses on the agricultural open landscape site of SN2183 would inevitably cause.

Any development which proposes 52 houses (SN2183) in greenfield site outside the settlement boundary  is completely out of context/scale for a village of our size. It is five times any previous development.

There is a primary school in the village but it is already at capacity, including two mobile classrooms which have a limited lifespan. It is unlikely that many children from the new homes would gain access unless at reception age.

QUESTION 172: Do you support or object to the allocation of the preferred site in Wreningham (south of Wymondham Road)?

SUMMARY: Wreningham Parish Council objects to the proposed large development on Wymondham Road because it believes that the village has already had its fair share of development and there are other opportunities within the existing settlement limit to facilitate more appropriate development.

In Wreningham, windfall infill development has and should provide its share of the extra homes needed, including half a dozen at the brownfield Spratts Coaches site.

Any development which proposes 52 houses in a greenfield site outside the development boundary  is completely out of context/scale for a village of our size. It is five times any previous development.

Village character and Settlement limit:

The SN2183 site on Wymondham Road is completely out of character with the existing linear ribbon development of Wreningham, in both scale and density. Described as a “reasonable alternative” site only within the whole consultation (and only “preferred” within the context of even less suitable sites within Wreningham), we would suggest it should only be considered when all “preferred” sites within South Norfolk have been developed.

There is nothing even comparable within the village of anything more than five houses away from the roadside and nothing outside the settlement limit. The existing four-home cul-de-sac on Wymondham Road is on the brownfield site of a former farm.

The GNLP (5.89 Wreningham) suggested incremental growth would be most appropriate for Wreningham (including the already developed site GNLP0431 at the top West end of Wymondham Road for three houses), rather than a much larger single development.

Drainage / flood risk / sewage

Wreningham is a “wet” parish, as recent flooding of gardens on Wymondham Road and Ashwellthorpe Roads and blockage of both roads for significant periods due to flooding around and since Christmas 2020, demonstrate.

It seems that the existing drainage and sewage system on Wymondham Road is already at capacity given the issues it is regularly throwing up. An almost doubling of homes on the road would surely overwhelm this.

According to existing flood maps, SN2183 sits directly on an area of significant surface water flood risk (which does not apply to any of the other already rejected sites within Wreningham), with implications for those further downstream from it.

See flood risk map below on gov.co.uk, On the map link use drop down to ‘Flood Risk from Surface Water’ and ‘Extent of Flooding’


A much smaller planning application in 2019 (2019/0644) for six houses on the same site as SN2183 was recommended for refusal due to “unacceptable flood risk” (letter from Shirley Bishop, South Norfolk Environmental Quality Team to Glen Beaumont). Surface water flooding of between 30 and 90 cms was quoted for most of the suggested plots. The application was quickly withdrawn after this was pointed out by Mr Beaumont to the applicant.

In March 2019, Glen Beaumont wrote to the developer to say: “I am not convinced that the social, economic and environmental benefits of six dwellings outside of the development boundary are sufficiently overriding to warrant recommending that the application is approved.”

We would ask how a 25-home development is now deemed acceptable when a six-home one is not, on flood risk grounds among others.

If any development is deemed necessary then a water management plan should not only encompass the development site and surrounding homes and roads but also those downstream from it. Digging out existing ditches upstream of the site and no filling in of them on the site would be necessary in addition to any mitigations.

Rurality and ecology

Any development should ensure the rurality of the village is maintained with no loss of trees, hedges, habitats and ditches. The village is a rural one and requests no loss of trees, hedges and other habitats. The still essentially rural nature of Wymondham Road with fields completely down one side, would be destroyed by such an intensive, deep development stretching away from the roadside.

Great Crested Newts have reportedly been seen in nearby Long’s Wood and a survey to see if they are present on the SN2183 site needs to be requested before any development.


All roads into Wreningham have considerable highways constraints in terms of narrowness of roads, twisting and turning with several blind corners – they are not conducive to the additional traffic 25 homes would introduce both during and after construction.

These highways constraints have largely ruled out other proposed development sites in Wreningham and they apply equally, if not more, to  SN2183, given the blind bend at the top of Wymondham Road.


The SN2183 site appears to have been chosen because it is the nearest to the village primary school, but that school is already at capacity, including two mobile classrooms which have a limited lifespan. It is unlikely that many children from the new homes would gain access unless at reception age.

Alternative site

It has been suggested to the parish council that if the owner of The Poplars and the SN2183 site wishes to see such a development then a more suitable location would be behind The Poplars itself with an existing road already in place and on a brownfield site which would avoid the flood-risk area on SN2183 and not encroach onto existing views and open countryside. It would also avoid the blind bend highway constraint at the Wymondham Road/Ashwellthorpe Road junction directly opposite a primary school (though no roads into Wreningham are without considerable highways constraints both for construction traffic and the extra traffic generated by such a large development.

Our handbook for Wreningham residents has been revised and is published in print and online, providing useful information and a warm welcome to village life.

Commissioned by the Parish Council and written by Keith Morris, the Handbook has information about village history, local government, faith, village hall, regular events, clubs and societies, facilities, education, media, public transport, health and useful contacts.

Download  the handbook here

The handbook will be delivered to new village residents. If you are new to Wreningham and have not received one, please contact the Parish Council chairman, Michael Hill at wrendriff@gmail.com

District Councillor, Nigel Legg, reports on 11 April 2020:

There have been no recent formal Council meetings at South Norfolk. The Council is currently being run by an Emergency Committee.

There have been proposals as to how certain Statutory functions of the Council might operate during the present crisis. It is proposed that the DMC [aka Planning Committee] will reduce to five members. Meetings will take place via Skype or similar. They will be time limited. For this reason there may be fortnightly meetings. Outside speakers such as PCs will be advised a week in advance of the meetings and will be given a specific time to speak.

The number of planning applications is broadly unchanged. The Council is anxious to promote the application process so as to encourage building work to resume.

The “call for sites” for the village clusters is complete. There have been some 350 expressions of interest. These have been scored. The next stages will be allocation and then consultation.

Calls to the Help Hub were being diverted via Norfolk County Council. This has changed so that calls are now answered by SNC staff. The number is 01508 533933.

NCC are consulting on the reduction to the speed limit on B1113, Norwich Road through Wreningham, as in this plan: the existing speed limit is 50mph and the new limit is 40mph. The Parish Council, with others, has been pressing for a speed reduction for many years.

The Parish Council will be requesting that the new limit should instead commence at/near the Wreningham village sign near the Bird in Hand. Pleased send comments (for or against) by 12th December 2019 to the NCC contact:

Bradley Shaw, Trainee Technician, Highway Projects Team 1, Community and Environmental Services, County Hall, Martineau Lane, Norwich, NR1 2DH

Tel: 01603 222452 | Dept: 0344 800 8020 | bradley.shaw@norfolk.gov.uk