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


Share this

Latest Blog Posts

 Norfolk’s lost lake is a haven for wildlife  Norfolk’s lost lake is a h...
by Robert Morgan on 16 Apr, 2024
A Siberian gem A Siberian gem
by Oscar Lawrence on 03 Apr, 2024
From our reserves: The return of a long lost stream From our reserves: The retu...
by Robert Morgan, NWT Reserves Officer on 02 Apr, 2024
Volunteer Spotlight: Poppy Bye Volunteer Spotlight: Poppy Bye
by Poppy Bye on 12 Mar, 2024
Last of the winter jobs on our reserves Last of the winter jobs on ...
by Robert Morgan, NWT Reserves Officer on 29 Feb, 2024
Hamza Yassin: Life Behind The Lens Hamza Yassin: Life Behind T...
by Oscar Lawrence on 27 Feb, 2024
Is the humble toad the real harbinger of spring?  Is the humble toad the real...
by Robert Morgan on 20 Feb, 2024
NWT employs stubborn old goats NWT employs stubborn old goats
by Robert Morgan on 20 Feb, 2024
Short-eared owls: their magic and majesty Short-eared owls: their mag...
by Oscar Lawrence on 12 Feb, 2024
Volunteer Spotlight: Tim Suiter Volunteer Spotlight: Tim Su...
by Tim Suiter on 05 Feb, 2024
Some old-fashioned care is needed in the winter Some old-fashioned care is ...
by Robert Morgan, NWT Reserves Officer on 02 Feb, 2024
Could a once abundant Norfolk fish become extinct?   Could a once abundant Norfo...
by Robert Morgan on 23 Jan, 2024
Wild is the wind Wild is the wind
by Robert Morgan on 23 Jan, 2024
Waxwing Winter Waxwing Winter
by Oscar Lawrence on 17 Jan, 2024
Volunteer Spotlight: Tricia Dolamore Volunteer Spotlight: Tricia...
by Tricia on 10 Jan, 2024
January on our reserves January on our reserves
by NWT on 04 Jan, 2024
Robin Redbreast Robin Redbreast
by Oscar Lawrence on 19 Dec, 2023
A Christmas Wish for Nature A Christmas Wish for Nature
by Robert Morgan on 18 Dec, 2023
November on our reserves November on our reserves
by Robert Morgan, NWT Reserves Assistant on 07 Dec, 2023
Winter wildlife on the North Norfolk coast Winter wildlife on the Nort...
by Robert Morgan on 05 Dec, 2023
Meander through the meadow - Sweet Briar Marshes guided walk Meander through the meadow ...
by Oscar Lawrence on 29 Nov, 2023
Kites and eagles: the falsely accused Kites and eagles: the false...
by Oscar Lawrence on 20 Nov, 2023
Nurturing nature with love Nurturing nature with love
by Nick Acheson on 14 Nov, 2023
Foray into fungi Foray into fungi
by Robert Morgan on 07 Nov, 2023