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Coronavirus: Wildlife trust closes centres and cancels events

PUBLISHED: 18:19 17 March 2020 | UPDATED: 18:19 17 March 2020

A marsh harrier prowling the reed beds for prey at Norfolk Wildlife Trust's reserve in Cley. Picutre: Nick Wakeling

A marsh harrier prowling the reed beds for prey at Norfolk Wildlife Trust's reserve in Cley. Picutre: Nick Wakeling

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A wildlife trust has closed its visitor centres, hides and cancelled events in a bid to fight the spread of coronavirus in Norfolk - but vowed to keep its nature reserves open.

Cley Marshes Visitor Centre and Aspinall Centre owned by the Norfolk Wildlife Trust on the north Norfolk coast Picture: RICHARD OSBOURNECley Marshes Visitor Centre and Aspinall Centre owned by the Norfolk Wildlife Trust on the north Norfolk coast Picture: RICHARD OSBOURNE

In light of the government’s announcement that unnecessary social contact and public spaces should be avoided, Norfolk Wildlife Trust (NWT) closed its visitor centres at Cley and Salthouse Marshes and Weeting Heath from Tuesday, March 17.

It is has also delayed the summer season opening of its centres at Holme Dunes, Hickling Broad and Ranworth Broad.

Chief executive Pamela Abbott said: “For the health and wellbeing of our staff, volunteers, members and visitors, and in light of [the] government announcement, we will be closing all our visitor centres.

“We have also taken the difficult decision to cancel our programme of events and activities until the end of April. This includes family events such as dyke dipping and rockpooling, events run by our eight local groups, and all activities at visitor centres including walks and workshops.

“We will review the situation over the coming days and weeks.

“Thank you in advance for your support.”

Director of nature conservation Kevin Hart added: “We appreciate that this is a very worrying time for everyone.

“The majority of nature reserves remain open and we will do all we can to continue providing access for people to Norfolk’s nature and open spaces.”

People who pre-booked events for March and April will be contacted and offered a refund.

The Trust is supported by more than 35,000 members and 1,200 active volunteers, and it owns and manages more than 50 nature reserves covering an area of 4,560 hectares.

Updates will be available on Norfolk Wildlife Trust’s website www.norfolkwildlifetrust.org.uk.

- Norfolk Wildlife Trust is the first and oldest of the Wildlife Trusts, established in 1926 with the acquisition of Cley Marshes on the North Norfolk coast.


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