Two of our volunteers with Sir David Attenborough, at the culmination of the HLF project at Cley

December fun thanks to The National Lottery

Monday 04 December, 2017

Norfolk Wildlife Trust’s nature reserve will be throwing open its doors for free to National Lottery players over the weekend of 16 and 17 December 2017.

Cley Marshes is one of 350 participating National Lottery-funded visitor attractions across the UK in saying ‘thanks’ to people who have raised money for good causes by buying a lottery ticket.

Norfolk Wildlife Trust received support from the Heritage Lottery Fund  of £1.5million, allowing it to deliver a £2.6million education and conservation project in North Norfolk at its flagship nature reserve. NWT purchased 143 acres to reconnect its nature reserves at Cley and Salthouse, and began to restore the habitats for species such as marsh harrier, avocet and bearded tit. The HLF project also resulted in the Simon Aspinall Wildlife Education Centre, which was opened in 2015 by Sir David Attenborough and Ben Garrod, and has established a diverse programme of events and educational activities for families, visitors and local communities that will inspire current and future generations of conservationists on the importance of this area for wildlife. This now includes a whole range of events on site including the Cley Calling Festival.

Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive of the Heritage Lottery Fund, said: “December is a wonderful time to experience the UK’s rich, diverse and exciting heritage, which has been transformed by more than £7bn National Lottery funding since 1994. This is a small gesture of thanks and a way of giving something back to the people who buy tickets.”

The idea is simple: any visitor who presents a National Lottery ticket or scratchcard on 16 and 17 December at the visitor centre at Cley Marshes gets free access to the nature reserve in return. The visitor centre is free to enter, and has a gift shop and café serving light meals and delicious coffee and cake.

Brendan Joyce, Chief Executive of Norfolk Wildlife Trust said: “Thanks to National Lottery players we’ve been able to secure for conservation the last stretch in eight kilometres of coastal nature reserves from Blakeney to Salthouse. We have also welcomed thousands of visitors and local people to wildlife events at our new education centre to inspire people to care about and protect wildlife for the future.

“We hope to see some new faces on 16 and 17 December discovering what makes Cley Marshes so special as we say thank you to National Lottery players.”
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