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Eco Tech Centre (Swaffham)

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Swaffham, Norfolk, PE37 7HT. tel = 01760 726100
EcoTech is an educational charity which aims to stimulate and inform people about the need for sustainable development.

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      11.06.2001 04:21
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      Anyone with a toddler in tow will empathise with me, when I say that everytime we drive past a windmill, my 2 and-a-half year old shouts out "Mindmill!!". Now, imagine being deafened everytime we drive past the largest and most powerful wind turbine in the UK, namely the EcoTech Centre. Situated on the A47 right next to Safeway supermarket - must be the only supermarket in the UK to have a massive wind turbine in the car park?, this turbine is almost twice as tall as Nelson's Column (and feels it when you're standing right underneath it!) It is capable of generating over 1,500,000 watts of clean power , providing half of the town of Swaffham's domestic electricty needs. In fact, our best friend's house is powered by it and they have never had a power cut! **Health Warning!** If you suffer from vertigo, I suggest you don't read the next bit! Remember me telling you that the turbine is one of the largest and tallest in the whole country, well, it is the only one in the whole of the UK with a viewing platform!! All climbers must be at least 1.2m high and I suggest you pre-book by phoning 01760 726100, as it can be quite popular, particularly on peak season weekends. You do get a certificate to prove you climbed the turbine, and what an experience, I can tell you - I was left speechless, which is a tad unfortunate when you have to write a dooyoo review on the experience! I will simply say that climbing 300 steps is rather tiring! If that wasn't enough, there is plenty to do when your feet return to Earth again. Talking of Earth, the new "attraction" (use that term loosely here) is The Rotten Exprience" - the world's biggest compost bin!! You could threaten your kids that if they dont behave, you will put them in it! You can also explore the lovely gardens and find out how to live in harmony with nature. There are so many lovely features here, such as the Butterfly Garden, li
      ve willow sculptures and a Compost Trail! The futuristic Discovery Centre itself is very educational, without being "in your face" - it tells the 4,000,000,000 old story of Mother Earth via touch-screen monitors. The spiders look very realistic! The exhibition continues to explain how humans evolved and concludes by explaining what would happen if we don't look after our Planet in the rather optimistically titled "Countdown to Domesday!" Which automatically makes you feel completely guilty as soon as you get home and throw a carrier bag in the bin! The site is open daily during oeak season, ie. April 7th to October 31st, and does have the ubiquitous gift shop and free parking. It also has a great soft play area with a jungle theme for the little ones - Mum can play whilst Dad climbs the tower, or should that be the other way round?!

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