New facilities are celebrated at Norwich nature reserve

A new easy-access path was celebrated at south Norwich nature reserve Marston Marsh this weekend.

The hard-surface path, which will improve access for people with disabilities and those with children in pushchairs, was officially opened at midday on Saturday by the Eaton Village Residents' Association.

A barbeque, music and facepainting made for a fun day to celebrate the vital new path - with Sheriff of Norwich Chris Higgins among the crowds - that follows the awarding of �49,976 from the Big Lottery Community Spaces Fund in April.

There was a celebratory mood, boosted by the recent news that Marston Marsh won the biodiversity award in the special awards category of this year's Anglia in Bloom awards.

The lottery money - together with support from Norwich Fringe Project and Norwich City Council - has been used to produce the 1km-long path as well as interpretation signs that give information about wildlife and birdlife to be found on the marsh, featuring drawings by year one children from Eaton Primary School.

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Matt Davies, Norwich Fringe Project co-ordinator, said: 'This really has been a fantastic project and I can't give enough praise to the local community who have played such a vital part in making it all happen.

'There is a real sense of ownership with local people wanting to be active in the management of the marsh - it really has brought people together.'

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