Appeal for new reserve in Broads hits £400k milestone

Wednesday 8th March 2017

Suffolk Wildlife Trust’s campaign to create a new nature reserve in the Broads National Park has reached another major milestone.

The appeal, which has been personally backed by Sir David Attenborough, has now raised £400,000 towards the £1million needed to purchase a parcel of land flanking the Trust’s existing reserve at Carlton & Oulton Marshes.

Broads Warden, Matt Gooch, said the way people in Suffolk and beyond had got behind the Trust’s vision had been “truly inspirational’.

“The support that people have given has really been quite moving. I think it shows the importance of this landscape and that there is a real belief in what the Trust is trying to do, both for wildlife, and for the communities that live in and around Lowestoft and Great Yarmounth - and for visitors from much further afield.

“We know that £1million is a big target but this is a huge opportunity to create a truly special place that can be enjoyed for generation after generation.”

The appeal, was launched in October last year 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 activities for people to learn about and get closer to nature.

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.