Back to nature as new Broadland Country Park opened to public
- Credit: Broadland District Council
An area of woodland on the outskirts of Norwich has been renamed as Broadland Country Park with the aim of helping the public get closer to nature.
The 140 acre site - commonly known as the Houghen Plantation - comprising heath, woodland and marshy grassland is nestled between the villages of Horsford and Felthorpe.
Broadland District Council paid £700,000 to snap up the land, using Community Infrastructure Levy funding from the Greater Norwich Growth Board, to provide green space for local residents.
The park offers a range of different habitats and landscapes which lend themselves to a variety of events and activities all year round as well as space for individuals wanting quiet contemplation.
Leader of Broadland District Council, Shaun Vincent, said: “Spending time exploring nature can contribute massively to improving mental health, fitness and wellbeing. Broadland District Council’s preservation of this site will ensure that this and future generations have the opportunity to benefit from this wonderful location.”
At present there are two circular routes to explore the park.
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The shorter route takes visitors along broadleaf and conifer woodland paths. The longer route runs around the outskirts of the park, and is around 1.6 miles in length.
This path guides you through large areas of sweet chestnut trees with views across the heathland, a landscape that is rarer than tropical rainforest and home to the UK’s only native lizard.
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The council is working with Norfolk Wildlife Trust and the Norfolk and Norwich Naturalists Society to undertake a programme of ecological and biological research which will help to improve long term management for conservation and biodiversity.
It is speaking to local community groups and schools about further ways to improve the accessibility of the site, while consulting with local residents about future amenities and activities at the park.
Broadland District Council chairman, Karen Vincent, said: “This is a truly unique and beautiful park that offers quiet escapism to the natural world, something we have all come to appreciate so much over the past year.”
Andrew Proctor, chair of the Greater Norwich Growth Board, said: “Throughout the pandemic we have all come to appreciate the green spaces, the parks and country walks that Norfolk is uniquely blessed with.
“It is essential that we continue to invest in and develop projects like this so these opportunities are available to greater Norwich’s new and growing communities.”