The £5 million expansion of the Broads National Park called a ‘unique opportunity’ by Sir David Attenborough

Thanks to the National Lottery Heritage Fund and an incredible fundraising effort from the public, Carlton Marshes will be expanding by 348 acres over the next six months.

President emeritus of The Wildlife Trusts Sir David Attenborough says a project advancing in Suffolk presents a ‘unique opportunity’.

A £5 million expansion plan to create a vast wetland wilderness on the edge of the Broads National Park in Suffolk is now under way. Last year, with a £4 million grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund and £1 from a public fundraising appeal, the Suffolk Wildlife Trust purchased 348 acres of land next to its existing 627-acre Carlton Marshes site on the western edge of Lowestoft.

River Scene along the Norfolk Broads National Park at Thurne

Late August and the soft light from the rising sun shines across the River Thurne on the Broads National Park at Thurne.

Now, the trust plans to merge the two sites to create a magnificent, 1,000-acre wetland reserve. After years of detailed planning, work has begun to create swathes of wetland habitat on the new land – to minimise disruption, this is planned to be completed in only six months.

‘the restoration of this special corner of East Anglia will bring rich rewards, not only for Suffolk’s wildlife, but also for the local economy’

The trust mentions that it may take a year or two for the reserve to ‘bed in’ and become a breath-taking panorama of wildness stretching from horizon to horizon, the increase in muddy areas as a result of the movements of heavy machinery is likely to mean an almost immediate increase in bird numbers visiting Carlton Marshes.

england east anglia the norfolk broads national park

Julian Roughton, chief executive of the Suffolk Wildlife Trust, agrees, stating that ‘the restoration of this special corner of East Anglia will bring rich rewards, not only for Suffolk’s wildlife, but also for the local economy’

Matt Gooch, Broads Manager, says ‘After all the work behind the scenes…it feels like we are now almost in touching distance of what will be a truly spectacular reserve. The restoration will, of course, take time, but the positive impact it will have for wildlife and for visitors will last for generations. It is a very exciting time.’