Tenth of funds for £1m Hickling Broad appeal secured

The Hickling Broad Estate is on the property market with a guide price of 2.3m

The Hickling Broad Estate is on the property market with a guide price of 2.3m - Credit: Archant

A £1m appeal to secure the future of a wildlife rich Broad has raised more than a tenth of the total in less than a month.

Brendan Joyce, chief executive, Noroflk Wildlife Trust, 2016.Picture: Elizabeth Dack

Brendan Joyce, chief executive, Noroflk Wildlife Trust, 2016.Picture: Elizabeth Dack - Credit: Archant

In November, Norfolk Wildlife Trust (NWT) launched an ambitious drive to raise the sum by March next year.

It came after 655 acres of the Hickling Broad Estate, including about half of the broad, were put up for sale for £2.3m in September.

The NWT has reached an agreement with the landowners to buy the site - with £1.5m of that already secured.

And the charity, which is a tenant of the land and owner of another part of the estate, has now revealed that its 35,000 members, local businesses and charities have raised more than £128,000 since it issued the call.

The Hickling Broad Estate is on the property market with a guide price of £2.3m

The Hickling Broad Estate is on the property market with a guide price of £2.3m - Credit: Archant

Brendan Joyce, chief executive of the NWT, said: 'The purchase is recognised by the Trust as being an historic achievement and it would be a fitting legacy to our 90th celebrations.

'There is no doubt in our minds that this is a national jewel and if we secure it now we will be protecting its rare and endangered wildlife and also making the best of the Broad for all the people who love it and use it.'

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More than 1,400 acres of reedbed, fen, grazing marsh, open water and woodland make up the Hickling Broad National Nature Reserve.

It provides a year-round haven for threatened wildlife such as iconic swallowtail butterflies, marsh harriers, Norfolk hawker dragonflies, the common crane and the bittern.

Nik Khandpur, head of development at the NWT, said: 'We know we are up against a tight time frame in which to achieve the largest and most expensive single land purchase in the trust's history.

'The response in the first week has been incredible and we are moved by how many of our members and the public have been in touch so quickly to help us secure this exceptional nature reserve. However, we know it is very early days and that we have almost 90pc of the £1m still to raise.'

To donate to the Hickling Broad land purchase appeal, click here or by calling 01603 625540.

• Are you organising a fundraising event for the appeal? Email lauren.cope@archant.co.uk

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