Norfolk National Trust estate expands

Ed FossThe estate at Sheringham Park has been expanded slightly but significantly thanks to an award scheme run by a landfill company. The National Trust property now has two new areas of land totalling about three acres.Ed Foss

The estate at Sheringham Park has been expanded slightly but significantly thanks to an award scheme run by a landfill company.

The National Trust property now has two new areas of land totalling about three acres.

It is mostly woodland, but with what trust bosses have called the 'important addition of two very fine ponds' known to contain a population of great crested newts among other species.

Initial surveys have confirmed what wardens had suspected, that the land is home to a number of protected and rare species.


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Head warden Keith Zealand explained the importance of the acquisition: 'There were several reasons we were keen to bring this piece of land into the estate.

'It is actually referred to by the famous landscape designer Humphry Repton in his Red Book for Sheringham Park, so although the land was not part of the original estate, it clearly figured in Repton's thinking about the whole landscape.

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'The second was because of the fantastic wildlife and habitat value.

'We have recently made a small pond as part of the Bower project, transforming a disused car park into a tranquil haven for wildlife and people, but the two new ponds add a great deal to the estate in terms of biodiversity and access to some brilliant wildlife encounters for our visitors.'

A full biodiversity survey is currently being undertaken, but early indications are very good, with five nationally scarce species of invertebrates already identified.

One of these is a millipede thought to be new to East Anglia, called Melogona gallica, found in western Britain but thought to have never previously been recorded in East Anglia.

'The ponds are quite sizeable, which helps, but they've also got lovely wide margins for plants and are fed by springs within the nearby woods that hasn't filtered through nutrient-rich farmland, or been otherwise polluted,' said Mr Zealand.

'We are thrilled to be able to take on the management of these ponds which have come to us in such good condition.

'Now we own them we can continue to manage them in the best way for wildlife and our visitors, safeguarding them for future generations to enjoy.'

Trust bosses are now trying to come up with a name for the new acquisition, which can be found on the west side of the estate, and would be happy to receive suggestions.

The trust has been able to purchase the land with help from Biffaward, a scheme designed to fund biodiversity and community projects, run by Biffa.

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