NWT Beetley Meadows

Small but significant land purchase re-unites SSSI 

Thursday 01 October, 2020

Two of Norfolk’s finest wet grasslands, which sit either side of the river Wensum, are to be united, as Norfolk Wildlife Trust purchases the missing half of this Site of Special Scientific interest (SSSI).

The small but significant purchase of Beetley Meadows and adjoining Beetley Wood means alongside its nature reserve at Hoe Rough, NWT can protect the whole SSSI and provide major benefits for wildlife, including five species of orchids: early marsh, common spotted, southern marsh, green-winged and twayblade. 

Beetley and Hoe Meadows will be grazed during summer once the new meadow has been re-fenced. NWT hopes to link the two sites with a foot and cattle bridge over the river to improve access for people to enjoy the reserve.

Mid Norfolk is a rich area for wildlife. There are 21 wildlife sites along almost five miles of the Dereham Stream / Wendling Beck/ Whitewater River corridor. This is rare chalk stream habitat, home to otters, water voles and river water crowsfoot.

Of these 21 sites, NWT now owns three of the four SSSIs: Potters & Scarning, Rush Meadows (jointly with Anglian Water) and Beetley and Hoe Meadows. The remaining 17 sites are County Wildlife Sites, four of which are owned by the Trust and the rest privately owned but with management advice from NWT. 

NWT is working on future projects along the river corridor to really improve the habitat for wildlife. This will have significant implications for ecological connectivity across the landscape and major benefits for wildlife by improving the consistency and efficiency of the conservation management, as well as securing the future of the habitats. 

Chief Executive of Norfolk Wildlife Trust, Pamela Abbott said: 
“NWT has owned Hoe Rough, a 12 hectare nature reserve of wet meadow and pasture woodland since 1989. We are delighted to have now secured for conservation the remaining half of the SSSI: the seven hectare Beetley Meadows and adjoining four hectare Beetley Wood. These will be managed as one site, increasing the safe area for wildlife.” 

Nature Conservation Manager at NWT, Steve Collin said: 
“We have been focussed on the Mid-Norfolk landscape to restore areas where we can along the river corridor habitats, including the purchase of Rushmeadows in 2013, and management of a County Wildlife Site next to NWT Scarning Fen. We are working hard to create ecological links between these isolated nature reserves by working with neighbouring landowners and increasing the size of existing reserves when the opportunities to do so arise.” 

The land was bought from a charitable trust and we hope to link with footpaths on the adjacent parish council owned land. The purchase was made possible thanks to a generous legacy gift to Norfolk Wildlife Trust, plus support from Anglian Water Flourishing Environment Fund and Banister Charitable Trust.
Share this

Top news stories

2020-10-01 Small but significant land pur Small but significant land purchase re-unites SSSI 
Thursday 01 October, 2020
Two of Norfolk’s finest wet grasslands, which sit either side of the river Wensum, are to be united, as Norfolk...
2020-09-28 The Wildlife Trusts launch £30 The Wildlife Trusts launch £30 million appeal to kickstart nature’s recovery
Monday 28 September, 2020
Today The Wildlife Trusts launch 30 by 30, a public appeal to raise £30 million to start putting nature into re...
2020-09-26 Storm damage leads to closures Storm damage leads to closures at many NWT nature reserves
Saturday 26 September, 2020
UPDATE 10/10: All sites have now re-opened. Thanks for your patience!  The strong winds and rain meant many Nor...
2020-09-25 Volunteers from Chartered Fina Volunteers from Chartered Financial Planners Clear Broads
Friday 25 September, 2020
The team at Smith & Pinching had a slightly different office for the day. Working in partnership with Norfolk Wil...
2020-09-18 Events programme to be reduced Events programme to be reduced
Friday 18 September, 2020
We are reducing the number of events this autumn as a precautionary measure and to comply with Government guidelines....
2020-09-17 Call for a new designation – W Call for a new designation – Wildbelt – to allow nature’s recovery 
Thursday 17 September, 2020
New analysis of the Government’s White Paper, Planning for the Future, has revealed that, as they currently sta...
2020-09-15 Volunteers receive warm welcom Volunteers receive warm welcome back
Tuesday 15 September, 2020
Norfolk Wildlife Trust’s volunteers do amazing things for wildlife, from surveying wild areas to improve local ...
2020-09-02 NDR Western Link: Norfolk Wild NDR Western Link: Norfolk Wildlife Trust will object
Wednesday 02 September, 2020
Norfolk Wildlife Trust will strongly object to any planning application for the Western Link and has written to the D...
2020-09-01 Biodiversity audit aims to cat Biodiversity audit aims to catalogue every wildlife species on north Norfolk coast
Tuesday 01 September, 2020
A huge biodiversity audit to catalogue the north Norfolk coast’s wildlife, in a similar way to the 2010 Brecks ...
2020-08-31 Can you find these fantastic f Can you find these fantastic finches?
Monday 31 August, 2020
This autumn we'd love you to record sightings of three finches in Norfolk: greenfinch, chaffinch and goldfinch in...
2020-08-12 Cley Calling Remotely: NWT pre Cley Calling Remotely: NWT presents new season of digital wildlife discussions
Wednesday 12 August, 2020
An autumn programme of wildlife discussions will be available to watch online for free as Norfolk Wildlife Trust welc...
2020-07-29 Illegal bike course removed fr Illegal bike course removed from SSSI
Wednesday 29 July, 2020
Norfolk Wildlife Trust has this morning removed a bike course that was illegally constructed at NWT Syderstone Common...