Sir David Attenborough backs Trust's vision for new Suffolk Broads nature reserve

Tuesday 25th October 2016

Sir David Attenborough has urged people to get behind Suffolk Wildlife Trust’s campaign to raise £1million and create a giant nature reserve for people and wildlife in the Suffolk Broads.

Following initial support* from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), the Trust now has the unprecedented opportunity to buy land flanking the existing nature reserve at Carlton and Oulton Marshes to form 1,000 acres of wildness in the Broads National Park. It is hoped the site will ultimately become the Suffolk Broads National Nature Reserve.

The land purchase, the biggest attempted in the Trust’s 55 year history, will lead to the creation of a mix of wet habitats that so many nationally rare animals and plants depend on.

Sir David Attenborough, President Emeritus of The Wildlife Trusts, said: “England’s wildlife is under great and ever growing pressure. It is vital that we restore our land on a landscape scale so that it can support more wild plants and animals. Suffolk Wildlife Trust’s ambition to extend Carlton and Oulton Marshes is a unique opportunity to do just this and it has my whole-hearted support.

“Please help Suffolk Wildlife Trust rescue this precious corner of East Anglia and bring back wildlife in all its splendour. By giving generously you will be investing not just in wildlife but in the happiness and fulfilment of thousands of people now and in the future.”

The new reedbed will be the largest in the Broads, supporting breeding marsh harrier and bittern, as well as reed bunting, grasshopper warbler and lesser known species like white mantled wainscot moth, which has only been found in Suffolk.

A seven mile network of restored freshwater ditches will be amongst the best in the UK and will allow Broadland specialists including plants, water voles and the rare fen raft spider to spread across the landscape. More than 150 acres of marsh, fen meadow and shallow pools will be created, with thousands of metres of soft muddy edges, for wintering wildfowl and nationally declining waders like lapwing and redshank to feed.

HLF has approved the Trust’s initial plans for the land purchase, together with proposals to improve the reserve for visitors and develop wide-ranging education activities. HLF has awarded the Trust a development grant of £246,300 to work on the detailed plans necessary to secure a full grant of £4m for the project. The enthusiasm of HLF for the Trust’s vision brings the project a step closer and Suffolk Wildlife Trust is now launching a £1million fundraising campaign towards the land purchase.

Drew Bennellick, Head of Landscape and Natural Heritage at the Heritage Lottery Fund, said: “Thanks to National Lottery players we’re pleased to support these plans which will create fantastic opportunities for people to reconnect with wildlife and nature right on the doorstep of Lowestoft. We wish Suffolk Wildlife Trust all the best as they embark on their fundraising scheme which will enable us all to get involved with the creation an exciting new landscape and secure a bright future for the Suffolk Broads.”

Julian Roughton, chief executive of Suffolk Wildlife Trust said: “This is an opportunity to create wildness as far as the eye can see and restore a magnificent landscape in the UK’s most nature-rich National Park. Buying this land will create an amazing place for wildlife that people can enjoy forever. It’s an ambitious vision and raising £1million will enable us to make it happen.”

Please donate what you can to help create the Suffolk Broads nature reserve visit 

Each donation will effectively be tripled by the legacy gifts the Trust has already received, Gift Aid and through the charity’s approaches to funders like the Heritage Lottery Fund.