The scheme covers an area of over 10,000 hectares between Wroxham and Acle and homes some of the finest wildlife areas in the country.
We aim to enhance the wetland habitats, create new ones and provide facilities for people to enjoy the wildlife.
North of Acle lies the Bure Valley Living Landscape, containing international and European protected sites. A series of Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) comprise grazing marsh, fen, wet woodland and the Broads floodplain. Even the undesignated land lying between these sites contains extensive areas of wet grazing marsh – a Biodiversity Action Plan priority habitat.
In partnership with the Broads Authority, Natural England and Essex and Suffolk Water, Norfolk Wildlife Trust is aiming to increase connectivity between the SSSIs through wetland creation and enhancement of the grazing marsh.
Virtual tour by Mike McFarlane
To create more natural functioning wetland habitats, the partnership aims to re-naturalise the rivers. The restoration of wet grassland will encourage breeding lapwing, redshank and wintering waterfowl. It is also hoped that local communities will become more engaged through the provision of opportunities to enjoy the spectacle of abundant wetland wildlife. Restoration plans include a major expansion of visitor access along footpaths within the area.
The scheme will:
- Enhance and create wetland habitats
- Re-naturalise rivers creating more naturally functioning wetland habitats
- Enhance arable farmland for wildlife and environmental protection
- Provide new opportunities to enjoy, understand and value the natural environment
The Trust has already acquired 40 hectares of grazing marsh to extend a current nature reserve and restored 80 hectares of arable reversion land to wet grassland. Environmental Stewardship and the Essex and Suffolk Water Company have contributed financially and additional funding is currently being sought for further land acquisition and to develop visitor facilities.
- Scheme area: 10,000 hectares
- Trust reserves within the scheme: Ranworth, Ebb and Flow & Cockshoot, Upton Fen & Marshes
- This scheme is helping species including swallowtail butterfly, bittern and barn owls.
- Current threats to the landscape include agricultural intensification, diffuse pollution, flood defence and climate change. This part of the Broads National Park is the closest to Norwich Growth Point with major development planned within 5 miles.
- This scheme is also helping wildlife adapt to climate change, improving access for people, providing volunteering opportunities and environmental education.