Our vision for Hickling Broad

Blog post by Eliot Lyne, NWT CEO on 07 Dec, 2023

Following our successful acquisition of the Pleasure Boat Inn in November, we’ve been delighted that much of the feedback we have received so far has been hugely positive with many praising this bold and imaginative move. 

 

For those who may still have questions, I wanted to share a little more of our thinking behind why we have bought a pub.  

 

At its heart, the decision supports our new strategy, A Wilder Norfolk for All, which demands that we not just protect nature, but that we also support its recovery.  We know that this is going to involve everyone – and we know too that the key to ensuring that people will be moved to protect nature is to give them new ways to enjoy and value Norfolk’s incredible wildlife. 

 

Hickling, located in the heart of the unique Norfolk Broads and one of the most beautiful wildlife sites in the UK, is the perfect place to do this. Welcoming people into the world of Norfolk’s wildlife in and around our new pub will enable us to reach thousands of people who wouldn’t usually visit one of our nature reserves or visitor centres. 

 

Our reasons are pragmatic too. In 2017, we acquired the Mills estate at Hickling, which brought much of land close by to the pub into our ownership. Our vision was always to create new visitor facilities and car parking to help people enjoy the area’s wildlife. Purchasing the Pleasure Boat Inn offered a cost-effective opportunity to create these features and felt like the final piece in the jigsaw puzzle. 

 

Although we won’t directly operate the pub, we will generate a financial return from owning it, alongside its moorings – all of which will be re-invested in the Trust and its work. This new income stream will complement our existing commercial ventures, helping Norfolk Wildlife Trust to become more financially resilient, by diversifying our income streams, in what is a very tough charity funding climate. 

  

With so much to gain, we can’t wait to get started and I look forward to welcoming you to the renovated Pleasure Boat Inn at some point in 2024! 

Header image: Shaun Whitmore

 

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