New work at Hickling Broad a ‘win-win‘ for wildlife and visitors

Hickling Broad will be the central focus of works by the Broads Authority to improve accessibility t

Hickling Broad will be the central focus of works by the Broads Authority to improve accessibility to the wetlands. Picture: Mike Page

It is already one of the most tranquil spots on the Norfolk Broads, shared by pleasure boaters and wildlife alike.

Hickling Broad will be the central focus of works by the Broads Authority to improve accessibility t

Hickling Broad will be the central focus of works by the Broads Authority to improve accessibility to the wetlands. - Credit: Archant

Now, work is under way at Hickling Broad aimed at further improving the location for all its users.

The Broads Authority project involves creating new reed islands and restoring badly eroded reed beds, while also dredging 3,500 cubic metres from the channel that traverses the broad.

Much of the material dredged from the bottom will be used in the construction of islands and in restoring banks. The dredging work is intended to help maintain water access to the broad's boatyard and pub, as well as Hickling Sailing Club.

Andrea Kelly, a senior ecologist with the Broads Authority, said: 'This project is a win-win for wetland wildlife and the people who enjoy it, as well as the businesses around the River Thurne area of the Broads.'

She said healthy growth of reed and reed mace in sheltered bays would prove crucial for birds.

'This (work) is important as wild birds are prone to disturbance from passing boats,' she said.

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'The Broads is an internationally important wetland and a stop-over for site for hundreds of thousands of water birds.'

Birds such as teal, tufted duck, gadwall and widgeon come in winter to congregate in the UK's wetlands.

Of these, many are from the continent from such places as Siberia and Scandinavia, with others from Iceland.

The Upper Thurne area is also home to nationally rare water plants. Fore example, Intermediate stonewort occurs only here in the UK.

Do you have a Broads story? Email newsdesk@archant.co.uk

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