BBC Countryfile show to focus on new Broads reserve

Broads warden Matt Gooch and Countryfile presenter Matt Baker. Picture: Matt Gaw

Broads warden Matt Gooch and Countryfile presenter Matt Baker. Picture: Matt Gaw - Credit: Matt Gaw

A new nature reserve in the Broads that will create refuge for rare migrant species will feature on the BBC's Countryfile on Sunday.

Countryfile presenter Matt Baker filming on location. Picture: Matt Gaw

Countryfile presenter Matt Baker filming on location. Picture: Matt Gaw - Credit: Matt Gaw

Presenter Matt Baker and a film crew visited Carlton Marshes last month to learn more about the Suffolk Wildlife Trust's campaign to raise £1m and create a 1,000-acre reserve near Lowestoft.

Broads warden, Matt Gooch, who took part in the filming, said the interest from the television show proved the importance of the new reserve.

'We've always known that what we are trying to do at Carlton Marshes is important, not just for local people and local wildlife but also in creating refuges for rare migrant species,' he said. 'This visit from Countryfile demonstrates the site's significance while also giving us a welcome opportunity to talk to a national audience about how they can help protect this unique part of the country.'

The Suffolk Wildlife Trust is currently just over halfway to reaching the £1m needed to make the project possible.

Carlton Marshes nature reserve. Picture: James Bass

Carlton Marshes nature reserve. Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press � 2013

An appeal, which has been publicly backed by Sir David Attenborough, was launched last year after the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) approved initial plans for the land purchase, together with proposals to improve the reserve for visitors.

The HLF awarded the trust a development grant of £246,300 to work on plans needed to secure a full grant of £4m for the project.

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The land purchase is the biggest attempt in the trust's 55-year history and will lead to the creation of a mix of wetland habitats.

The new reedbed will be the largest in the Broads and will support breeding marsh harrier and bittern, as well as reed bunting, grasshopper warbler and lesser known species like the white mantled wainscot moth, which has only been found in Suffolk.

A seven-mile network of restored freshwater ditches will allow for plants, water voles and the rare fen raft spider to spread.

More than 200 acres of marsh, fen meadow and shallow pools will be created, with thousands of metres of soft muddy edges for wintering wildfowl and waders like lapwing and redshank to feed.

Countryfile, which broadcasts to an audience of up to 9.6m people, is aired on BBC One at 7pm on Sunday.

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