NWT New Buckenham Common, a Trust-owned common in South Norfolk, photo by Richard Osbourne 1/3
Turtle dove, one of the species in our new editorial series, photo by Jeremy Bone 2/3
We are looking for volunteers to help collect wildlife records on commons 3/3

Wildlife in Common


Tuesday 22 May, 2018


A two year project celebrating Norfolk’s commons and their wildlife and heritage has begun,  run by Norfolk Wildlife Trust in partnership with Norfolk County Council and University of East Anglia. It will empower local people to connect with their common land, and ultimately may lead to the creation of new commons in Norfolk.

Wildlife in Common has been made possible by National Lottery players thanks to £58,800 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), with additional support of £7,750 from Essex & Suffolk Water Branch Out fund.

NWT will enlist volunteers to help collect wildlife records on commons, allowing it to truly evaluate the importance of these places for wildlife. Through the project, help will be on hand for communities taking practical action to protect and conserve commons, whilst events involving schools, artists and museums will raise the profile of common land across Norfolk.

A major element of this National Lottery funded project will be to support communities in researching the history of their common. This will involve collaboration with the University of Anglia and the Norfolk Record Office at Norfolk County Council.

NWT will also explore the potential to create new commons for the future, including establishing new common rights, perhaps in the form of community orchards or coppice woodlands, allowing residents to have a real stake in the land. These would be informal open spaces with wildlife habitats, used for walking and enjoying wildlife. This is a bold step and an innovative approach to public open space that has not yet been explored in Britain.

Conservation officer at Norfolk Wildlife Trust, Helen Baczkowska said: “Common land in Norfolk is often a place where people walk, enjoy encounters with wildlife and seek solace or solitude. Over spring and summer, Wildlife in Common will work with volunteer surveyors to collect wildlife records on commons. Volunteers will be offered training and support through the project and will no doubt discover a wealth of wildlife on Norfolk commons, from widespread species such as meadow buttercup and blackbirds, to specialised species from butterflies to bees.”

There are more than 300 commons in Norfolk, ranging from tiny fragments to several hectares, such as NWT’s nature reserve at New Buckenham Common, where the wealth of wildlife includes meadow saxifrage, green winged orchids and great crested newts.

NWT is keen to hear from individuals or community groups in Norfolk who have a particular interest in the history or wildlife of their local common. You can contact the project at [email protected]

We are celebrating the wildlife of commons in a monthly editorial series written by NWT's Barry Madden. The first pubished this month, celebrating the turtle dove.
Share this

Top news stories

2022-05-19 NWT helps Norfolk's coastal co NWT helps Norfolk's coastal communities care for their environment
Thursday 19 May, 2022
Free environmental workshops and project grants available for local communities to enable action.  Norfolk Wild...
2022-05-16 Norfolk Wildlife Trust and Nat Norfolk Wildlife Trust and National Highways announce biodiversity boost 
Monday 16 May, 2022
Norfolk Wildlife Trust and National Highways have joined forces to launch a new Network for Nature programme, with th...
2022-04-06 Working together to protect ou Working together to protect our beach nesting birds this summer
Wednesday 06 April, 2022
Spring is in the air and Norfolk Wildlife Trust is joining with nature conservationists from across Norfolk, includin...
2022-04-06 £60,000 boost for Norwich natu £60,000 boost for Norwich nature reserve appeal
Wednesday 06 April, 2022
The Geoffrey Watling Charity donation brings Norfolk Wildlife Trust's new nature reserve vision a step closer to ...
2022-03-17 Disadvantaged communities acro Disadvantaged communities across the UK empowered to let nature flourish thanks to £5m National Lottery funding
Thursday 17 March, 2022
Nextdoor Nature - a new natural legacy to mark the Queen's Jubilee - will help nature flourish in Norwich.  ...
2022-03-02 Banned pesticide gets green li Banned pesticide gets green light
Wednesday 02 March, 2022
Tuesday 1 March saw the green light given to use a banned pesticide, contradicting Government promises to protec...
2022-02-16 NWT launch appeal for flagship NWT launch appeal for flagship nature reserve for Norwich
Wednesday 16 February, 2022
Norfolk Wildlife Trust seeks to raise £600,000, in partnership with Aviva, to protect rare wildlife and co...
2022-02-01 Norfolk waste company's partne Norfolk waste company's partnership with NWT helps customers 'Clean up to green up'
Tuesday 01 February, 2022
PSH Environmental Ltd partners with Norfolk Wildlife Trust to launch new £45,000 conservati...
2022-01-28 Help us to map nature's recove Help us to map nature's recovery
Friday 28 January, 2022
Do you know of some unloved places? Do you want special places to have more protection? Tell us about them!We want yo...
2022-01-10 The Fens to benefit from Gover The Fens to benefit from Government funding to kickstart the restoration of peatlands
Monday 10 January, 2022
The Fens East Peat Partnership (FEPP), including Norfolk Wildlife Trust, are excited to announce they have been award...
2021-12-06 Maternity colony for rare bats Maternity colony for rare bats continues to be under threat from proposed road route
Monday 06 December, 2021
Norfolk Wildlife Trust is continuing to object to the proposed “Norwich Western Link” (NWL) and call...
2021-12-02 Birds, bees, and butterflies s Birds, bees, and butterflies suffer as Brexit farming promises broken today
Thursday 02 December, 2021
Rescue rivers, wildlife and climate faster, say three largest nature charitiesToday the Governmen...