Swallowtail by Tim Melling

£1 million target reached to secure future of international wetland Hickling Broad


Tuesday 18 April, 2017


Norfolk Wildlife Trust has announced today that the £1 million target had been reached through donations to the Hickling Broad Land Purchase appeal in less than six months of fundraising.  The Trust needed to raise £1 million to purchase 655 acres of the Hickling Broad Estate that were put on the open market in September 2016. The total cost of the land purchase is £2.5million. It is the biggest land purchase in the Trust’s history for one of the most significant and wildlife-rich wetlands in the UK.

Norfolk Wildlife Trust Chief Executive, Brendan Joyce said, “I am delighted to announce that £1 million has been raised in such a short period of time.  This is an exceptional response by our supporters to this urgent appeal and we are very moved by how much people appreciate the value of Hickling Broad as a vital and celebrated wetland. Hickling Broad clearly holds a special place in the hearts and minds of many people in Norfolk and beyond.”

He continued, “I am also very pleased to announce that we will receive further assistance from the Garfield Weston Foundation.  The Foundation has made an unprecedented offer of a loan of £1 million to help us secure this land purchase and the land was formally purchased on 28 April 2017.  

The significance of this loan cannot be under-estimated as it will allow us to proceed with the acquisition with confidence.

We are extremely grateful to the Garfield Weston Foundation, our members and other charitable trusts and all those individuals who have been so generous.”

More than 1,400 acres of reedbed, fen, grazing marsh, open water and woodland make up the Hickling Broad National Nature Reserve. 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, common crane and bittern.  

Hickling Broad is a Site of Scientific Special Interest (SSSI) and a National Nature Reserve (NNR).  It is also designated as a Special Protection Area (SPA) under the EU Birds Directive and as a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) under the EU Habitats Directive in recognition of its European importance for its habitats and the wildlife that depends on them.

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