Emerging masterplan for the Broads will focus on protecting the waterways ‘special qualities’ after Brexit

Salhouse Broad wall repairs have commenced by the Broads Authority. Photo: Mike Page

Salhouse Broad wall repairs have commenced by the Broads Authority. Photo: Mike Page - Credit: Mike Page

Protecting the 'special qualities' of the Broads after Brexit is a key focus of a developing long-term vision for the wetlands.

The Broads Authority is currently seeking thoughts on its emerging Broads Plan, a so-called partnership plan which will shape approaches to a breadth of issues from 2017 to 2022.

Andrea Long, director of planning and resources, said two key issues to consider under the plan - which went out to consultation for the first time earlier this year - were the impacts of both climate change and leaving the European Union (EU).

She said EU directives and laws governed 'land management', 'farming' and 'agricultural payments' around the waterways.

'The Broads is an important landscape, it's a farmed landscape and therefore anything that happens in terms of payments to farms - because obviously they do have payments from Europe - we don't know what's going to happen with that in the future,' she said.

'The Broads is known for its special environmental qualities and all the legislation that looks after that is from Europe.

'There are interesting things that we need to think about – to make sure the special qualities, including landscape, wildlife and water quality, are not affected.'

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EU conservation laws give special status to areas including the Broads, as well as the north Norfolk coast, protecting them from over-development.

More than 1,000 threatened species are protected by EU legislation, including some of our most endangered birds.

In June, ahead of the vote, MP for North Norfolk Norman Lamb warned that habitats and species could be at risk if the UK leaves the EU.

Mrs Long encouraged people to get in touch with their thoughts of the plan, which can be viewed at www.broads-authority.gov.uk

'It's not aimed just at visitors, tourists, it's aimed at local people, communities, various organisation, land owners,' she said.

'Everybody can be involved and have their say. The message that we would say is that if you've got any views and you're not sure, we want to hear them.'

Comments must be submitted in writing by 4pm on Friday, December 30.

Send any thoughts to Maria Conti, Strategy and Projects Officer, Broads Authority, Yare House, 62 to 64 Thorpe Road, Norwich, NR1 1RY, or email broadsplan@broads-authority.gov.uk

• Do you have a Broads story we should be writing about? Email lauren.cope@archant.co.uk