Author: Ellen Robson

After the recent launch of our name a knot campaign, where we have been asking you to give a name to one of the 100,000 knot at RSPB Snettisham, you may be wondering why knot were called knot in the first place. The name is thought to originate from the story of King Canute (King Cnut in Danish) and the waves. This story describes how Canute goes to the shore and commands the sea to avoid him. In some versions of the story he did this to prove he was all powerful and could control the tides, and was then humiliated as a result of his arrogance when the water did not stop for him. Others recount quite the opposite tale, where he did this to show his people that even his royal powers could not manipulate the elements and that they could only be controlled by God. 

King Can-knot

Either way, King Canute had to recede from the incoming tide, just like the knot do when the sea approaches them, which is why they are thought to be named after him! 

If you'd like to name a knot and support our #SnettsHide appeal please donate at