Because of its structure and variety of habitats, the North Norfolk Chalk Beds is an ideal area for many species of marine life to flourish. It has been a traditional fishing ground for generations of local fishermen.
Fishing now is principally for crabs and lobsters, also formerly for whelks, all of which use pots. In the past, when herring were plentiful, local fisherman also fished for these in season, as well as other fish such as cod and haddock.
Between Sheringham and Cromer you can see areas of chalk beds at low tide. You can often spot where areas of near-shore chalk beds are located by the numerous small, flagged buoys showing where crab pots have been laid.
The traditional, wooden local fishing boats were suited to launching and landing from a beach rather than a harbour, and were double ended, with a ‘point’ at both ends.
The last boat-building shed in Sheringham (Emery’s, one of the two most important local boat-builders along with Billy May of Potter Heigham) closed in 1980. You can still see a few boats built to the traditional design in use today and Sheringham Museum (The Mo) has three local fishing boats and more information about them.
There were 8 under 10 metre fishing boats registered at Sheringham and 21 at Cromer in May 2020, but you can also find a few at Weybourne and at East and West Runton.