£22k project breathes new life into Hickling staithe

A dilapidated public staithe on the Broads has been brought back to life thanks to the efforts of community leaders.

Hickling Parish Council spearheaded the project to completely overhaul the village staithe.

And on Friday their work was celebrated during an official opening ceremony, which marked the completion of the 18-month project.

Parish council chairman Sandra Clarke was joined by members of the Broads Authority, Environment Agency and North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb to toast the £22,000 scheme, which saw the launch site under go a major refurbishment.

She said: 'Drawing together the different aspects of upgrading the staithe has been hard work but very rewarding. People are quite enamoured with it and it's now very much a talking point.'

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During the work the staithe has undergone major structural and landscaping improvements, including replacing the two rotten wooden slipways with concrete, installing new signs and an information board, re-profiling ditches and planting wild flowers, reed and hedges.

Slipway winches have also been replaced and an ornate vehicle barrier has been decorated with metal swallowtail butterflies - which were initialled by all the village schoolchildren at a community forge event last year.

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More than 130 tyres were also removed from the site.

There are now separate parking areas for berth holders and visitors, and a new bench installed in honour of father and son staithe wardens Billy and Harry Nudd, who collected day launching fees for over 40 years between them.

Broads Authority chief executive John Packman said: 'Hickling Parish Council is to be congratulated on having the vision and drive to refurbish their village staithe, which has resulted in a remarkable facility for both parishioners and visitors.

'It is an excellent example of what can be achieved when different organisations, specialists and interested people work together.

'This is a very important slip location, particularly for pike fishermen, and the Broads Authority was keen that at least one of the slipways should be retained for visitor use.

'The staithe is now a focal point for the village and something the local community can be proud of.'

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