Nature Reserve expansion project awarded £100,000

New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership has awarded Norfolk-based national charity the Hawk and Owl Trust £100,000 towards its Sculthorpe Fen Appeal. The money will be used towards developing a new, much enlarged reserve, its facilities and developing the community engagement elements of the project.

Sculthorpe Moor Nature Reserve is known nationally for its wildlife, sympathetic and effective management techniques and accessibility to all. The Hawk and Owl Trust, with its national headquarters based at Sculthorpe, is currently in the process of raising £850,00 as part of a £1.7m Sculthorpe Fen Appeal to purchase additional land on either side of the existing reserve and to be able to extend its wildlife management into this area, and make it fully accessible to all.

As the reserve expands more volunteers will be needed to help build the new infrastructure, manage and develop the land in a way that will benefit wildlife and meet and greet an increased number of visitors and an increased workforce will also be required to both manage the reserve, but also to offer more educational, conservation and community engagement activities.

The grant has been awarded through New Anglia LEP’s Growing Places Fund, which provides loan funding to help kick start and support development projects across Suffolk and Norfolk. It will help cover core costs, funding several new full-time posts as well as six work placements over the next two years. Our amazing volunteer ‘army’ is also crucial to the running of the reserve and we will be hoping/aiming to attract a further 50 volunteers from the local community to help with the day-to-day running, offering opportunities for exercise and making new friendships all in the glorious surroundings of this lovely nature reserve.

Nigel Middleton, Reserve Warden, said “This grant makes a truly significant contribution to the Sculthorpe Fen Appeal. Our vision for the future of this amazing reserve drives us onwards, and to see the finishing line in sight, with the help of this award is a fantastic thing! We can’t wait to be able to start developing the reserve, for wildlife and for people.”

Doug Field, chair of New Anglia LEP, said “North Norfolk already makes a significant contribution to our Visitor Economy. This project will strengthen that offer, helping create an outstanding facility that will benefit our economy and enrich the lives of people locally.”

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