Name change, guided tours and junior rangers are priorities for new Broads Society chairman

Boats on the water at Ranworth in the heart of the Norfolk Broads.Picture: James Bass

Boats on the water at Ranworth in the heart of the Norfolk Broads.Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2016

The new chairman of a society which keeps an independent watch over the Broads says he hopes to 'revitalise' it and make it more accessible.

Paul Rice

Paul Rice

Paul Rice was appointed to the role on the Broads Society – which he says acts as a 'critical friend' to the Broads Authority (BA) – earlier this month, in the society's 60th year.

His plans for the coming months include renaming the group – to the Friends of the Broads.

'I believe we need to have a friendlier name and something that sets us apart from the BA,' he said. 'People often get the two confused, and we have very different roles.'

But Mr Rice, who is a district councillor in north Norfolk and sits on the BA's planning committee, said his priority was introducing new generations to the wetlands.


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'We want people from all walks of life and all age groups,' he said. 'Everyone has something to contribute and the more ideas the better. It's really important to get everyone who is on the water together.

'To encourage younger members I do believe we need to embrace social media, update our website and become much more accessible.'

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Through his role as a volunteer with Norfolk Lowland Search and Rescue, Mr Rice hopes to educate young people on safety in the Broads.

Guided tours of sections of the waterways would also be on the cards, to make the most of the society's extensive knowledge.

'Many of our members are very knowledgeable about the areas and it is a shame to not share that with others,' he said. 'The southern Broads are often overlooked so it could encourage more people to use those, whether by water, bike or on foot.'

Visit www.broads-society.org.uk for more information on the society.

• Do you have a Broads story for us? Email lauren.cope@archant.co.uk

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