University of East Anglia (UEA) nature trail to be opened by Norfolk author Mark Cocker

A wildlife trail giving people a closer look at hundreds of different species will open at Norwich's University of East Anglia (UEA) campus next week.

Volunteers have helped organise four walking routes, including the Yare Valley and UEA Broad, after receiving �9,000 of lottery cash.

Surveys have revealed 687 species of moth, 147 different birds and 272 types of flowering plant have been spotted in the trail area.

The riverbank is also home to water voles, while otters, mink and kingfishers are known visitors.

Author and naturalist Mark Cocker, who lives in Norfolk, will officially open the trail on Wednesday. This includes unveiling one of the four information boards, which explain the wildlife, biodiversity and conservation issues in the area.

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Mr Cocker studied English literature at the UEA and it is said during this time he developed his love of wildlife and nature.

He said: 'All wildlife-rich areas are immensely important, yet a wildlife-rich area like the UEA Broad, which is so close to the city centre, is of double significance because it offers opportunities for the largest number of people to enjoy it. The creation of the UEA Wildlife Trail is a fabulous asset for Norwich residents.'

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The trail project has been organised by UEA Volunteers, a group which encourages students and staff to give up time for worthy causes.

Elaine Sherriffs, UEA Volunteers administrator, said she was pleased with the 'generous' grant from the Big Lottery Fund's community wildlife programme.

She said: 'This should enrich the experience of walking alongside the river, through the woods, across the meadows or around the UEA Broad.'

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