Chance to give the gift of land as Suffolk Broads appeal goes past £300,000

Thursday 15th December 2016

You can now show someone special you care by buying them a part of the Suffolk Broads nature reserve as a unique Christmas gift.

Suffolk Wildlife Trust is inviting people to “buy” a piece of the Suffolk Broads to gift to someone they love as part of their campaign to create a giant 1,000 acre nature reserve in the north of the county.

The move comes as the Trust announced they have now raised £312,387 towards the £1million needed to purchase a parcel of land flanking their existing reserve at Carlton and Oulton Marshes since the appeal first began in late October.

Matt Gooch, the Trust’s Broads Warden, said: “We have been absolutely amazed by the level of support that our appeal has received so far. The idea of having wildness as far as the eye can see has clearly captured people’s imaginations.

“Now, by gifting a piece of land to someone special – whether it is 1m2 or 500m2 – people will be able to share their excitement, while also contributing to a breath-taking landscape-scale reserve that will protect nature for generations. It is the gift that keeps on giving!”

Matt added that the number of donations and the messages of support from those living inside and outside of Suffolk demonstrated the importance of the Trust's vision for the Suffolk Broads nature reserve.

“All kinds of people have donated and gifted land: from people who live nearby and want to support local wildlife to those from many miles away who recognise what a rare conservation opportunity this is.”

Everyone who buys a gift of land will receive a personalised e-certificate that can be printed out or emailed.

The Suffolk Broads appeal, which has been personally endorsed by the President Emeritus of the Wildlife Trusts, Sir David Attenborough, was launched after the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) 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.

The 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 Trust’s appeal will go towards match funding that grant.

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.

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.