Rain

Rain

max temp: 4°C

min temp: -1°C

Search

Lottery fund backs new landscape scheme for watery edge of Brecks

PUBLISHED: 00:01 03 November 2017

A wetland scene at Lynford in the Brecks. Picture: NICK FORD

A wetland scene at Lynford in the Brecks. Picture: NICK FORD

Archant

Plans for a £3.3million landscape conservation scheme focusing on the wildlife-rich and historically important watery world where the Brecks meet the vast flatlands of the Fens has won vital initial backing from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Members of the Breaking New Ground Partnership Board celebrate the award of HLF development funding for the new scheme. Picture: BREAKING NEW GROUND Members of the Breaking New Ground Partnership Board celebrate the award of HLF development funding for the new scheme. Picture: BREAKING NEW GROUND

The high-level HLF support for the proposed Brecks Fen Edge and Rivers Landscape Partnership Scheme is hailed today as “incredibly exciting news for the future of landscape scale conservation in the Norfolk and Suffolk Brecks.”

Made possible by National Lottery players, the new Brecks Fen Edge and Rivers scheme will aim to “understand, reveal, celebrate and protect the lost heritage” of an often-overlooked area, proposers said.

Planned to involve 60 partner organisations, the scheme will aim to include 46 innovative projects, ranging from citizen science delivering ground-breaking eDNA sampling for species of conservation priority in waterbodies, to unlocking stories of Viking invasions and the Iceni revolt led by Boudicca. Rivers and sensitive habitats will be restored, with communities encouraged to value the area’s heritage and given skills to maintain it.

Following the widely acclaimed three-year Breaking New Ground HLF Landscape Partnership Scheme which focused on the Brecks’ heaths, forests and open spaces, the new initiative will aim to raise awareness of how water is fundamental to the story of the area’s landscape settlement and development, and its biodiversity.

A view across part of the RSPB's Lakenheath Fen nature reserve on the edge of the Brecks. Picture: NICK FORD A view across part of the RSPB's Lakenheath Fen nature reserve on the edge of the Brecks. Picture: NICK FORD

Development funding of £151,000 for the new scheme is announced today by Suffolk County Council, which hosted Breaking New Ground, and the Breaking New Ground Landscape Partnership. The funding will help the council progress plans to apply for a full grant.

The council and the partnership said: “Conservation effort has long focused on the internationally important heaths and forests, but legacy development work from the Breaking New Ground Landscape Partnership identified significant risks and opportunities relating to this lesser-known watery landscape, which includes unique geology, the UK’s only six fluctuating meres and a significant percentage of nationally rare species.”

Breaking New Ground’s project manager Nick Dickson added: “Today’s news is incredibly exciting for the future of landscape scale conservation in the Norfolk and Suffolk Brecks.”

Matthew Hicks, Suffolk County Council cabinet member for environment and public protection, described the development funding as “wonderful news for the Brecks” and he looked forward to seeing the scheme take shape in its 18-month development period.

A remote corner on the edge of the Brecks. Picture: NICK FORD A remote corner on the edge of the Brecks. Picture: NICK FORD

HLF’s head of landscape and natural heritage Drew Bennellick added: “Across the UK people are increasingly realising that nature is in trouble and it’s time to take a more proactive approach. Schemes like these provide a creative solution to helping people reconnect with landscapes and the environment, to implement solutions at a truly landscape-scale and tackle issues such as soil loss and flooding by supporting partnerships and coalitions of the willing.”

Mr Dickson will present further details on the new scheme at the free Breaking New Ground Celebration Conference on Saturday, November 18, at the Carnegie Rooms, Thetford. Booking information can be viewed at www.breakingnewground.org.uk/events

Where E stands for Edge

A stretch of the River Lark in the Brecks. Picture: CLAIRE DICKSON A stretch of the River Lark in the Brecks. Picture: CLAIRE DICKSON

By a curious coincidence, the boundary of the proposed Brecks Fen Edge and Rivers scheme area forms a shape remarkably similar to a capital letter E.

The “E for Edge” outline has Stoke Ferry and South Pickenham at its northernmost points, and stretches westwards along the Wissey and Gadder chalk streams and the Thompson Stream to Stow Beddon.

The upright section of the E stretches south to Mildenhall, with the lower horizontal section following the River Lark to Fornham All Saints.

The central horizontal section of the imaginary letter follows the Little Ouse from Brandon to Knettishall, with spurs also following the River Thet from Thetford to Brettenham Heath and the Blackbourn from Euston to Honington.

The Harvest Centre, home of Brandon Full Gospel Church, held its Christmas meal on Saturday evening and this year invited people who had made a difference in the community.

Snow-lovers in Suffolk and Essex took full advantage of today’s weather by getting outside to enjoy the white stuff despite plummeting temperatures.

A woman arrested on suspicion of causing death by careless driving when under the influence of drink or drugs has been released under investigation.

Kesgrave High School will be closed tomorrow after a major power failure.

A woman was raped in a car in Lowestoft yesterday in what police have described as a “despicable attack”.

Ipswich Town Hall will be 150 years old in January. John Norman looks at its story – one rarely dull.

Headteachers face an “impossible” task of deciding whether to close their school due to snow and fear looking “foolish” later in the day if forecasts prove to be inaccurate, education leaders say.

Most read

Eating Out in the Broads

cover

Click here to view
the Eating Out
supplement

View

Visit the Broads

cover

Click here to view
the Visit the Broads
supplement

View

London Boat Show 2018

cover

Click here to view
London Boat
Show supplement

View

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24