Geoffrey Watling’s legacy brings £500k milestone for Cley Marshes nature appeal

The Geoffrey Watling Trust has donated £100,000 to Norfolk Wildlife Trust. Alan Watling (in red), ne

The Geoffrey Watling Trust has donated £100,000 to Norfolk Wildlife Trust. Alan Watling (in red), nephew of Geoffrey, pictured at Cley Marshes with NWT chairman Brendan Joyce.PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

An ambitious £1m appeal to extend north Norfolk's coastal nature reserves has reached its half-way milestone – with the help of the generous legacy of an altruistic Norwich businessman.

The Norfolk Wildlife Trust's appeal was launched in October to raise the money needed to buy 143 acres of privately-owned land neighbouring its flagship reserve at Cley Marshes.

The purchase would expand the reserve by a third and fill the 'missing link' which could connect an unbroken 8km of protected sites stretching from Blakeney Point to Salthouse Marshes.

After just six months of fund-raising, the appeal has already raised £500,000 – with the half-way milestone reached thanks to a £100,000 donation from the Geoffrey Watling Charity.

The charitable trust is run in memory of the charismatic entrepreneur who was credited with saving Norwich City Football Club as well as helping many other good causes before his death in 2004 at the age of 91.

Yesterday, trustees of the charity including some of the Mr Watling's family were given a guided tour of the Cley land which his legacy will help to protect.

For the full story, buy today's Eastern Daily Press.

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