Cley Marshes Appeal
Norfolk Wildlife Trust is delighted to announce it is able to go ahead with its vision for NWT Cley Marshes, including the acquisition of land between its nature reserves at Cley and Salthouse Marshes and building the new Simon Aspinall Wildlife Education centre.
This has been possible thanks to unprecedented support from members and other donors and a confirmed Heritage Grant of £1.5million from Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).
With the support of HLF in place, NWT intends to purchase Pope’s Marsh by November 2013. Originally, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation acquired the land through its social investment fund, giving NWT 22 months to raise the £1million to complete the purchase. NWT is able to secure the land nine months ahead of the cut-off date.
The land purchase is part of a larger, £2.6million project called A Living Coast, an ambitious vision for Cley:
- To purchase Pope’s Marsh, securing for conservation the last stretch in eight kilometres of coastal nature reserves from Blakeney to Salthouse.
- Begin its initial restoration and integrate habitats such as saltmarsh, grazing marsh, reed bed and pools into the neighbouring nature reserves at Cley and Salthouse. This will create a network of internationally-vital habitats for many endangered species including marsh harrier, avocet, spoonbill, bearded tit and bittern.
- Build the Simon Aspinall Wildlife Education Centre, meeting a growing demand for information, education and events from the 110,000 visitors to Cley Marshes each year.
- Establish a diverse programme of events and educational activities for families, visitors, groups and local communities that will inspire current and future generations of conservationists on the importance of this area for wildlife.
More than £600,000 has been donated by members of NWT, the public in Norfolk and further afield, businesses, and charitable trusts. Two local charitable trusts have each donated £100,000: The Geoffrey Watling Charity and The Otter Trust. With the £1.5million from HLF, this means £2.3million has been raised towards the project. Whilst this leaves a shortfall of £300,000, NWT has sufficient funds to proceed.
Chief Executive of Norfolk Wildlife Trust, Brendan Joyce said: “This is amazing news. I am very proud of the NWT staff for all their excellent work to get us to this stage. I would also like to thank Heritage Lottery Fund for showing such confidence in us and enabling us to go forward with this landmark project.
“There are a great many people for us to now thank personally who have helped us with this either professionally or through a contribution to our appeal. Most especially our members, the wider public, many organisations and charities have who have helped us to raise a staggering £800,000 which will now act as matching funds to the Heritage Lottery Fund grant. We still have shortfall of £300,000, for which we hope to raise further funds and also use some of the Trust’s vital financial reserve to underwrite.
“Having paused briefly to celebrate the fantastic news, we must now start the next leg of this journey, which is to buy Pope’s Marsh, commence the restoration work and start work on the Simon Aspinall Wildlife Education Centre.”
Robyn Llewellyn, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund East of England, said: “This project is fantastic for wildlife and visitors alike. The marshes already have an international reputation and this will be strengthened by the work that will now take place, ensuring that even more visitors can enjoy the beauty of the area.”
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We want to hear why Cley is special to you. Did you come here as a child and see your first little tern? Have you brought your own children here to explore?
Share your special memories of Cley with us when you donate. Send us an email to email@example.com, post a message on Facebook, tweet using #mycley, make a video response on YouTube or send us a letter with My Cley in the first line of our address.
Whatever your special memories of Cley, help us to honour our founder’s vision and hugely expand the nation’s best-loved nature reserve by making and gift-aiding your donation today. We will put a selection of your memories on a new ‘MyCley’ web page and will award a small prize to the best three.
Read more on our MyCley page and submit your own memories. Please help us show how important Cley is and why we must take this opportunity to make it better.