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Milestone reached on first anniversary of Broads wildlife appeal

PUBLISHED: 00:01 25 October 2017

Carlton Marshes Nature Reserve.  Picture: James Bass

Carlton Marshes Nature Reserve. Picture: James Bass

Archant Norfolk © 2013

A £1million campaign to create a vast new nature reserve in the Broads National Park has reached an important milestone.

On the first anniversary of the launch of Suffolk Wildlife Trust’s appeal to expand the Carlton and Oulton Marshes nature reserve, near Lowestoft, the wildlife charity has raised more than three-quarters of its target.

Last October, the trust set out its vision to buy land flanking the popular nature reserve to form 1,000 acres of wildness at the gateway to the Broads, with the appeal personally backed by Sir David Attenborough.

And this week the trust announced that the fund now stands at £752,362, which has been mostly given by a total of 3,000 individuals.

Such support from people across Suffolk has been “truly breathtaking”, said trust chief executive Julian Roughton.

He said: “This is the biggest land purchase the trust has ever attempted in its 55-year history and we knew when we started that trying to raise £1m was ambitious. But I think people have really recognised the importance of what the trust is trying to do, both for wildlife and for the communities that live in and around Lowestoft. We are so close now to hitting the target and creating a truly special place that can be enjoyed for generations to come. It is an exciting time and we are so grateful to everyone who has given.”

The appeal was launched in October last year after the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) approved initial plans for the land purchase, together with proposals to improve the reserve for visitors and develop wide-ranging nature activities for them. HLF has awarded the trust a development grant of £246,300 to work on the detailed plans necessary to secure a full grant of £4m for the project. The trust’s appeal will go towards match funding the grant.

The purchase of Peto’s Marsh, Share Marsh and other land will lead to the creation of a mix of wet habitats that many nationally rare animals and plants depend on – including marsh harrier, bittern, grasshopper warbler, fen raft spider and lesser known species such white-mantled wainscot moth, which in Britain has only been found in Suffolk.

The new reedbed will be the largest in the Broads and more than 200 acres of marsh, fen meadow and shallow pools will be created. Donate to the appeal via www.suffolkwildlifetrust.org

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