Did you grow up wild in the Suffolk Broads? Get involved with Suffolk Wildlife Trust campaign

Thursday 12th January 2017

Suffolk Wildlife Trust is looking for people to share their memories of growing up wild in the Suffolk Broads as part of a project to record an important part of our living heritage.

The project, supported by Essex & Suffolk Water’s Branch Out fund, will create a memory bank of people’s childhood experiences of nature in Lowestoft and the surrounding countryside, which we will use to inspire families to spend more time in nature.

Sara Holman and Tracey Housley, who are both leading the campaign, said the initiative was an opportunity to “create a living legacy” for nature and the communities of Lowestoft and beyond.

Sara said: “By collecting and sharing people’s stories about living in and around these marshes and meadows, copses and coasts, we can demonstrate how children in this part of the county have always grown up with a largely outdoor life. They will also paint a vivid picture of the lost Suffolk that the Trust is striving to restore; a Living Landscape of big skies and expansive wetlands.”

Tracey added: “Earlier this year the Trust, with the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund, launched a Growing Up Wild campaign across the county and we have been overwhelmed by the response, especially in towns such as Bury St Edmunds and Ipswich. We now want to expand the project and focus on the wealth of untapped stories in Lowestoft – a town where the sea and the Broads has shaped the way people live and play. The generous support from Essex & Suffolk Water means this is now possible.”

Miranda Cooper, Conservation & Land Manager, Essex & Suffolk Water said: “The link between health and the countryside is well known and many of the Branch Out projects encourage people to be outside, visiting sites and learning more about their local countryside.

"The purpose of the fund is to enable local communities, land managers, other organisations and individuals to make a difference to the natural environment within Essex & Suffolk Water’s operating area. Branch Out fund has given £253,000 to help 58 projects since its inception and has now been shortlisted in the ‘Edie Sustainability Leaders Awards 2017."

The campaign to record people's childhood memories has taken on a particular resonance, given the Trust’s latest appeal to raise £1million and create the Suffolk Broads nature reserve – a move that will see the restoration of hundreds of acres of marshland.

The Trust is inviting people to share their memories – whether it is a few lines, a few pages or just a photograph – through their website at www.suffolkwildlifetrust.org/growingupwild or by emailing info@suffolkwildlifetrust.org. Alternatively people can write to Growing Up Wild, Suffolk Wildlife Trust, Brooke House, The Green, Ashbocking, Ipswich, IP6 9JY.