Suffolk Wildlife Trust’s £1m appeal for new wildlife reserve hits milestone

Suffolk Wildlife Trust Reserve warden Matt Gooch on the Carlton Marshes nature reserve.

Suffolk Wildlife Trust Reserve warden Matt Gooch on the Carlton Marshes nature reserve.

Suffolk Wildlife Trust has hit another major milestone – reaching the half-way point in its ambitious campaign to raise £1million for the creation of a new nature reserve in the Broads National Park.

The £500,000 milestone in a project to expand the trust's Carlton and Oulton Marshes nature reserve, near Lowestoft, was marked today (Friday) with a poignant presentation.

A total of 2,781 people have now donated to the appeal, which has been personally supported by Sir David Attenborough. And this week the campaign reached its half-way stage, thanks to a grant of £33,333 from the Edward and Ivy Rose Hood Memorial Trust.

The donation was made in memory of the couple, who both loved Carlton Marshes and the beautiful wetland landscapes of the Broads.

At a special ceremony today at the Carlton Marshes visitor and education centre off Burnt Hill Lane, Carlton Colville, Edward Hood's sister-in-law, Barbara Hood, presented a cheque to the Trust for £33,333.


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Mrs Hood described Edward (known as Ted) and Ivy, who also founded the Suffolk Wildlife Trust's Lowestoft branch, as 'true Broadland people'. Ted died at the age of 94 last year, following the death of his wife Ivy in 1995.

Mrs Hood added: 'Ted and Ivy would be absolutely delighted to contribute to such a wonderful local cause. They would have loved it, I have no doubt about that.'

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Christine Luxton, head of development at Suffolk Wildlife Trust, said the generosity and enthusiasm shown for the Trust's vision to create wildness as far as the eye can see was 'truly inspiring.'

She said: 'We knew when we started this appeal that £1million would be an ambitious sum to raise, but so too is the scale of the wild landscape we will create. Members of the public, from Suffolk and beyond, have clearly taken this project to their hearts and realised that this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to join up horizons and make this part of the Broads a fantastic place for both wildlife and people.'

She added: 'We would like to thank everyone who has donated to the appeal so far. Every pound we receive is an important stepping stone to restore this precious part of East Anglia and enabling wildlife to flourish once more.'

ABOUT THE CAMPAIGN

The £1m campaign aims to enable the trust to buy Peto's Marsh and Share Marsh, totalling 384 acres, as well as smaller areas to add to its existing 627-acre reserve.

The Trust's public appeal was launched in October last year after the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) approved the Trust's initial plans for the land purchase, together with proposals to improve the reserve for visitors and develop wide-ranging activities for people to learn about and get closer to nature.

The HLF has awarded the Trust a development grant of £246,300 to work on the detailed plans necessary to secure a full grant of £4m for the project. The Trust's appeal will go towards match-funding that grant.

The land purchase, the biggest attempted in the Trust's 55-year history, will lead to the creation of a mix of wet habitats that so many nationally rare animals and plants depend on.

The new reedbed will be the largest in the Broads, supporting breeding marsh harrier and bittern, as well as reed bunting, grasshopper warbler and lesser known species like white mantled wainscot moth, which has only been found in Suffolk.

A seven-mile network of restored freshwater ditches will be amongst the best in the UK and will allow Broadland specialists including plants, water voles and the rare fen raft spider to spread across the landscape.

More than 150 acres of marsh, fen meadow and shallow pools will be created, with thousands of metres of soft muddy edges, for wintering wildfowl and nationally declining waders like lapwing and redshank to feed.

As well as donating online at www.suffolkwildlifetrust.org it is now possible to buy a stunning marsh harrier T-shirt, designed by artist and graphic designer Sam Foley, to support the appeal.

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