Norfolk Wildlife Trust today announced it is launching a £1 million appeal to secure the future of one of UK’s most important National Nature Reserves and historic home to the booming bittern. Almost 50% of the Broad was put on the open market for £2.3million in September and Norfolk Wildlife Trust has reached agreement to buy the land.
The land for sale has been in the ownership of the Mills family for 200 years. Hickling Broad is the largest Broad in the Norfolk & Suffolk Broads network. In 1945 the family agreed for much of this land to be managed by Norfolk Wildlife Trust, the result being a major nature reserve part owned privately and part-owned by Norfolk Wildlife Trust.
CEO of NWT, Brendan Joyce said, “When the estate went up for sale, it was inevitable that there would be a lot of interest given its position at the heart of the Broads. Hickling is one of the best wildlife sites in the UK and, given our longstanding involvement in its management, we knew we had to push the boat out and do everything possible to secure its future.”
The current estate owner, Hallam Mills said, “The Hickling estate has been in my family for 200 years and during that time this lovely Broad has survived in fine style, despite the pressures of the modern world. The family is delighted that, out of many expressions of interest, the Broad is going to Norfolk Wildlife Trust, who in many ways were the Broad’s natural owner. The wildlife and conservation interest of the reserve will be very safe in their hands.”
More than 1,400 acres of reedbed, fen, grazing marsh, open water and woodland make up the Hickling Broad National Nature Reserve that also has national and international conservation designations. Its wetland habitats, sensitively restored by Norfolk Wildlife Trust, offer a year-round haven for threatened wildlife such as iconic swallowtail butterflies, marsh harriers, Norfolk hawker dragonflies, the common crane and of course, the bittern.
Brendan Joyce continued, “The Trust will now work with all the local interests who live and work around Hickling to ensure its conservation, cultural, social and economic interests are maintained into the future. But we need help to complete the purchase and will be appealing to all our members and everyone who has an interest in and cares about this important place. Securing the future of this Broad will leave a great legacy for our 90th anniversary.”
To donate to the Hickling Broad land purchase appeal you can donate by visiting our Just Giving page: www.justgiving.com/campaigns/charity/norfolkwildlifetrust/hickling
or by Text Giving* - text LAND26 to 70070
with the amount of your donation. Or visit our website at: www.norfolkwildlifetrust.org.uk/support-us/ways-you-can-give/appeals