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East Anglia Future 50

High-powered backing for the Broads in National Park of the Year awards

PUBLISHED: 06:55 02 March 2018

Norfolk Wildlife Trust CEO Brendan Joyce at Hickling Broad.

PHOTO: Nick Butcher

Norfolk Wildlife Trust CEO Brendan Joyce at Hickling Broad. PHOTO: Nick Butcher

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With just days to go before voting closes in the National Park of the Year awards, the Broads has received backing for its nomination from three of the region's main wildlife organisations.

Broads National Park. Potter Heigham. Picture: ANTONY KELLYBroads National Park. Potter Heigham. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Norfolk Wildlife Trust chief executive Brendan Joyce, RSPB director for Eastern England Dr James Robinson, and Suffolk Wildlife Trust chief executive Julian Roughton said it would bode well for the Broads if the region were to win.

The Broads was named one of five finalists in the BBC Countryfile competition after it was nominated alongside Snowdonia, Northumberland, Exmoor and New Forest national parks.

READ MORE: The “mysterious, marvellous” Broads nominated for National Park of the Year

Mr Joyce said the Broads was “an incredibly special place” that offered visitors and local communities “an outstanding experience of nature”.

Julian Roughton CEO of the Suffolk Wildlife Trust. Picture: john FergusonJulian Roughton CEO of the Suffolk Wildlife Trust. Picture: john Ferguson

“For the Trust, directly involved in their management and protection, we know that the Broads face a unique set of pressures particularly from climate change and rising sea levels.

“We really welcome this nomination which highlights just how extraordinary this National Park is for wildlife and people.

“I hope that we are successful and we should all use this as an opportunity to work together to protect its special features.”

Dr Robinson said the RSPB owned “some very special nature reserves” in the Broads along the Rivers Yare and Ant.

Waterlilly on Cockshoot Dyke.  Picture: James Bass PhotographyWaterlilly on Cockshoot Dyke. Picture: James Bass Photography

“I am delighted that the combined work of all the conservation bodies and the Broads Authority has been recognised in the shortlisting of the park as the National Park of the Year.

“It would be great if we could win the competition.”

Mr Roughton said the Broads was “by far” the most important of the UK’s National Parks for threatened wildlife.

“It supports 1,500 species of conservation concern including species, such as swallowtail butterfly, that occur no where else in the UK.

James Robinson, RSPB Regional Director of the East of England.James Robinson, RSPB Regional Director of the East of England.

“It’s unique history and wildlife make it one of the most important wetlands in Europe - it’s a tremendous asset for nature and people.”

The Broads was nominated after magazine readers were asked to submit suggestions.

Members of the public have been asked to nominate their favourite National Park with voting open until March 5. To vote for the Broads visit: BBC Countryfile Magazine Awards 2018: National Park of the Year

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