Broads project in line for award

A long-running project to breathe fresh life into a picturesque stretch of the Norfolk Broads and a scheme to get youngsters to develop a love of nature have been recognised in a national awards scheme.

A long-running project to breathe fresh life into a picturesque stretch of the Norfolk Broads and a scheme to get youngsters to develop a love of nature have been recognised in a national awards scheme.

The Trinity Broads and Whitlingham Country Park, will be competing in the finals of the Waterways Renaissance Awards.

Both stretches of lakeland areas will find out on March 17 if they have scooped gold medals at the award ceremony in Manchester which will celebrate the vitality and regeneration of waterways.

A 20-year restoration programme by the Broads Authority and partner agencies to breathe fresh life into the Trinity Broads, which comprises the Filby, Ormesby, Ormesby Little, Rollesby and Lily Broads, has been nominated for the awards.


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The restoration work includes clearing algae, mud pumping, scrub removal and safeguarding water voles in the five linked broads which are isolated from the main Broads system.

Because of the 20-year programme, rare plants and animals such as holly-leaved naiad, stonewort, bitterns and Desmoulin's whorl snail are making a comeback.

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It has also led to a large rise in visitor numbers as people take in the scenic views or go fishing or enjoy boating and canoeing.

Andrea Kelly, head of conservation at the Broads Authority, said: “The Trinity Broads are now one of the premier sites in the country for seeing water plants and wintering wildfowl.

“All our hard work over the 20 years is showing real benefit and it is a good time to celebrate our success by going for this award.”

Whitlingham Country Park has been put forward for the finals because of the way it encourages young people and children from Norwich and Yarmouth who live in deprived areas or who have been excluded from school to enjoy the outdoors through a forest schools project.

Park manager Russell Wilson said: “The young people we have would struggle in a classroom environment, but if you bring them into an outdoors environment they thrive.

“By teaching them how to build fences and footpaths, and coppice and plant trees, the children not only learn a new range of skills but it increases their self-confidence as well. The feedback we get is superb. They say it is their best day of the week.”

The park's outdoor education centre, run by Norfolk County Council, has also been singled out for praise for reaching out in the community and organising inclusion programmes through sport.

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