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AuthorTopic: Pope's Marsh Press Release! Just the best news!
Chris Abrams Pope's Marsh Press Release! Just the best news!posted at 28/09/2013 09:12:10

25 September 2013

National Lottery enables Wildlife Trust to proceed with ambitious Cley plan

Norfolk Wildlife Trust (NWT) is delighted to announce it is able to go ahead with its vision for Cley Marshes, including the acquisition of land between its nature reserves at Cley and Salthouse Marshes and building the new Simon Aspinall Wildlife Education centre.

This has been possible thanks to unprecedented support from members and other donors and a confirmed Heritage Grant of £1.5million from Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

With the support of HLF in place, NWT intends to purchase Pope’s Marsh by November 2013. Originally, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation acquired the land through its social investment fund, giving NWT 22 months to raise the £1million to complete the purchase. NWT is able to secure the land nine months ahead of the cut-off date.

The land purchase is part of a larger, £2.6million project called A Living Coast, an ambitious vision for Cley:

To purchase Pope’s Marsh, securing for conservation the last stretch in eight kilometres of coastal nature reserves from Blakeney to Salthouse.

Begin its initial restoration and integrate habitats such as saltmarsh, grazing marsh, reed bed and pools into the neighbouring nature reserves at Cley and Salthouse. This will create a network of internationally-vital habitats for many endangered species including marsh harrier, avocet, spoonbill, bearded tit and bittern.

Build the Simon Aspinall Wildlife Education Centre, meeting a growing demand for information, education and events from the 110,000 visitors to Cley Marshes each year.

Establish a diverse programme of events and educational activities for families, visitors, groups and local communities that will inspire current and future generations of conservationists on the importance of this area for wildlife.

More than £600,000 has been donated by members of NWT, the public in Norfolk and further afield, businesses, and charitable trusts. Two local charitable trusts have each donated £100,000: The Geoffrey Watling Charity and The Otter Trust. With the £1.5million from HLF, this means £2.3million has been raised towards the project. Whilst this leaves a shortfall of £300,000, NWT has sufficient funds to proceed.

Chief Executive of Norfolk Wildlife Trust, Brendan Joyce said: “This is amazing news. I am very proud of the NWT staff for all their excellent work to get us to this stage. I would also like to thank Heritage Lottery Fund for showing such confidence in us and enabling us to go forward with this landmark project.

“There are a great many people for us to now thank personally who have helped us with this either professionally or through a contribution to our appeal. Most especially our members, the wider public, many organisations and charities have who have helped us to raise a staggering £800,000  which will now act as matching funds to the Heritage Lottery Fund grant. We still have shortfall of £300,000, for which we hope to raise further funds and also use some of the Trust’s vital financial reserve to underwrite.

“Having paused briefly to celebrate the fantastic news, we must now start the next leg of this journey, which is to buy Pope’s Marsh, commence the restoration work and start work on the Simon Aspinall Wildlife Education Centre.”

Robyn Llewellyn, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund East of England, said: “This project is fantastic for wildlife and visitors alike. The marshes already have an international reputation and this will be strengthened by the work that will now take place, ensuring that even more visitors can enjoy the beauty of the area.”


For further information, images and interviews, please contact:

Rebecca Worsfold at Norfolk Wildlife Trust
Office: 01603 625540
Mobile: 07761 768872
Email: rebeccaw@norfolkwildlifetrust.org.uk

David & Pat Wileman Re: Pope's Marsh Press Release! Just the best news!posted at 28/09/2013 20:16:05

Fantastic news.  Just what we have all been waiting for. 

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