Roydon Common, photo by Richard Brunton

Car park closure as work set to begin

Monday 12 November, 2018

The west car park at Norfolk Wildlife Trust’s National Nature Reserve, Roydon Common will be closed for about two weeks from Monday 26 November 2018 during work to improve the site for visitors and protect its wildlife.

We are improving access at the site, including on the newest area Rising Breck to the west of the national nature reserve, which will benefit visitors and the reserve’s precious wildlife.

The improvements include a new path from the car park to join the network of paths with attractive routes for walking/dog walking; three bench seats to take a break and enjoy views across the nature reserve; a dry stone seat made from local carstone, which will be a focal point for group visits and a place to listen to nightjar on summer evenings; and new information signs to help visitors to understand the importance of the area for plants and wildlife.

Work on the new car park will start Monday 26 November 2018 and will last about two weeks. For safety reasons there will be no parking available at the west of the Common. The east car park, towards Roydon village will remain open.

Head of Nature Reserves, John Milton said: “This important work will improve access to the nature reserve for the many visitors who enjoy the heath, but also will protect the wildlife whilst encouraging people away from more sensitive areas. The work has been planned to be as sustainable as possible: waste from the old parking area and imported aggregate will be used as the sub-base for the new car park. Soil excavated in preparing the car park will be used to recreate grazing land. As far as possible local materials will be used.”  

The work to improve the visitor facilities is funded by WREN Landfill Communities Fund. It follows major conservation work carried out on Roydon Common and Rising Breck to restore and recreate lowland heathland and mire habitats in Norfolk., which has been funded by WREN Biodiversity Action Fund, Norse Landfill Communities Fund and Anglian Water Flourishing Environment Fund.

Roydon Common is one of the finest examples of lowland valley mire in Europe and the largest surviving open heath in West Norfolk. It is a ‘mixed mire’, where the geology has created both acidic and base-rich conditions, upon which a great variety of plant life has developed.  It is also a sanctuary for rare breeding birds, water voles, and rare plant life including woolly feather-moss and sedge species such as Dioecious sedge.
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