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Norwich Fringe Project volunteers working hard to maintain beauty spots

PUBLISHED: 15:55 03 February 2015 | UPDATED: 15:56 03 February 2015

Matt Davies, front left, Norwich Fringe Project officer with some of the volunteers working to thin out Charter Wood which is situated between Bowthorpe and Bawburgh. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Matt Davies, front left, Norwich Fringe Project officer with some of the volunteers working to thin out Charter Wood which is situated between Bowthorpe and Bawburgh. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Archant

For a quarter of a century they have been working on the fringes of our fine city, protecting beauty spots for the enjoyment of all.

Volunteers at work for the Norwich Fringe Project at Charter Wood, which is situated between Bowthorpe and Bawburgh. Ronan Brown, grounds maintenance apprentice with the South Norfolk Council. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY Volunteers at work for the Norwich Fringe Project at Charter Wood, which is situated between Bowthorpe and Bawburgh. Ronan Brown, grounds maintenance apprentice with the South Norfolk Council. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Like modern-day Wombles the group undertake unheralded tasks across dozens of Norwich woodland and environmental sites.

Now the little-known Norwich Fringe Project is moving out of the shadows with a relaunch to mark their 25th anniversary.

Now rebranding their volunteers as National Heritage Champions, the project manages and restores up to 38 nature reserves across our area, along with a host of ancient meadows, heaths, marshes and woods.

The project relies on funding from Norwich City Council, Broadland Council, South Norfolk Council and the Broads Authority.

Charter Wood, which is situated between Bowthorpe and Bawburgh. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY Charter Wood, which is situated between Bowthorpe and Bawburgh. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Overall the project has funded £75,000 to improve a number of sites including Earlham Millenium Green and Marston Marshes.

Their roles in each area differs from improving paths to cleaning woodlands, to make these places of beauty one for wildlife to live in and for visitors to enjoy.

Norwich City Council leader Brenda Arthur, said: “The fringe project works to conserve the landscape and wildlife of our local countryside and equally importantly, it involves local communities, volunteer groups, schools and businesses in this important task.

“There is now evidence that access to green spaces greatly benefits our physical and mental health and

wellbeing, and another important aspect of the Fringe Project’s work has been to improve opportunities for access and quiet recreation in our local countryside.”

The project also offers support for a high number of community groups and local schools as well as organising health walks for children.

As the project dawns on a new era with its rebranding, there is a call for more volunteers to help with the good cause.

Matthew Davies, Norwich Fringe Project officer, said: “Anything which has been running for 25 years must have done something right, and I think the work that project has been doing in and around Norwich has included some marvelous work.

“Our volunteer National Heritage Champions are a vital part of the project’s work helping us to maintain and improve woodland and wetland sites as well as for local people to explore and enjoy.

“It is a great project for volunteers to take part in and we are pushing to bring more in as we continue to look to move the project forward.”

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