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Wildlife trust to reopen car parks and nature reserves - but visitor centres remain closed

PUBLISHED: 14:55 14 May 2020 | UPDATED: 14:55 14 May 2020

A marsh harrier prowling the reed beds for prey at Norfolk Wildlife Trust's reserve in Cley. Picture: Nick Wakeling

A marsh harrier prowling the reed beds for prey at Norfolk Wildlife Trust's reserve in Cley. Picture: Nick Wakeling

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Some nature reserves and car parks run by Norfolk Wildlife Trust are set to reopen, but its visitor centres, toilets and hides will remain closed.

Sun setting over Cley marshes. Picture: Marion GreenSun setting over Cley marshes. Picture: Marion Green

The trust closed its visitor centres at Cley and Salthouse Marshes and Weeting Heath on March 17, and they remain closed.

However, Hickling Broad and Marshes will reopen, but only the one-way route.

Chief Executive Pamela Abbott said: “We are pleased that many of our car parks will reopen from May 20.

“Our visitor centres, toilets and hides will remain closed and we will open them when it is safe to do so. The car parks at Cley and Salthouse Marshes will also take a bit more time to reopen.

Cley Marshes in north Norfolk. Picture: Richard OsbourneCley Marshes in north Norfolk. Picture: Richard Osbourne

“In restoring access to these nature reserves, we are confident that the wildlife will not be negatively affected. At these sites you may see some temporary changes.

“There may also be areas at some nature reserves, such as our woodlands, where paths are narrower than the two-metre recommended social distancing measure, so please be considerate of other visitors.

“There are some nature reserves which we have decided to keep closed for the moment, so we can be sure that vulnerable wildlife is not affected by any sudden increase in visitor numbers.

“We are not able to open some nature reserves because people would not be able to visit them safely. For example, the boardwalk at Ranworth Broad is too narrow and the hides at Weeting Heath must remain closed.”

Re-opening on May 20, alongside sites that have stayed open throughout, are Brett’s Wood, East Wretham Heath, Foxley Wood, Hickling Broad and Marshes, one-way route only.

Also reopening are Lower Wood Ashwellthorpe, Narbourough railway line, Roydon Common and Tony Hallatt Memorial Reserve, where the main car park remains closed but the reserve is open, and Wayland Wood.

Sites remaining closed are Cockshoot Broad, Cley and Salthouse Marshes, Holme Dunes, Ranworth Broad and Marshes, Thetford Forest and Marshes, Trinity Broads, Upton Broads and Marshes, Fen car park, and Weeting Heath. The car park at Rollesby bridge is not a NWT car park. Thetford Heath is closed due to breeding birds.


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