Norfolk Wildlife Trust has announced that over £128,000 has been donated so far as a result of it launching the Hickling Broad Land Purchase appeal to raise £1 million by March 2017.
In response to a call to its 35,000 members, local businesses and charitable trusts, this amount has already been received at the end of the first official week of the appeal.
The appeal was formally launched on 18 November with all NWT members written to seeking their support. Donations have been coming in from far and wide, with people expressing their wishes that Hickling Broad will be protected long into the future.
655 acres of the Hickling Broad Estate were put on the open market in September. Norfolk Wildlife Trust reached agreement to buy the land which makes up almost half of its National Nature Reserve for £2.5 million. While funding of £1.5 million has already been secured, NWT needs a further £1 million to purchase this nationally and internationally important wetland for wildlife.
Whilst the National Nature Reserve has been in NWT’s care since 1945, it does not own it in its entirety and this purchase will allow the Trust to unify the reserve (1400 acres) under its ownership.
Head of Development Nik Khandpur 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 90% of the £1 million still to raise.”
Chief Executive, Brendan Joyce 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.”
More than 1,400 acres of reedbed, fen, grazing marsh, open water and woodland make up the Hickling Broad National Nature Reserve that also has national and international conservation designations.
Its wetland habitats, sensitively restored by Norfolk Wildlife Trust, offer a year-round haven for threatened wildlife such as iconic swallowtail butterflies, marsh harriers, Norfolk hawker dragonflies, the common crane and of course, the bittern.
To donate to the Hickling Broad land purchase appeal you can donate by visiting our website at: www.norfolkwildlifetrust.org.uk/support-us/hickling-broad-land-purchase-appeal
or on our Just Giving page: www.justgiving.com/campaigns/charity/norfolkwildlifetrust/hickling
or telephone: 01603 625540
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