Cranwich Camp given £43k grant

Stone curlew and chicks
Picture by Chris Knights ANL-140528-171148001
Stone curlew and chicks Picture by Chris Knights ANL-140528-171148001
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Norfolk Wildlife Trust has secured a £43,500 grant from Biffa Award to encourage rare Breckland species on Cranwich Camp.

The plant and invertebrate specialists on the Site of Special Scientific Interest make Cranwich Camp an important grassland habitat.

Cranwich Camp is a breeding habitat for nightjar, woodlark and skylark.

The former military base is one of the strongholds for Spanish catchfly and for breeding woodlark.

Managed by Norfolk Wildlife Trust on behalf of the Brecks Heath Partnership, a partnership between NWT, Forestry Commission and Natural England, the project will also provide the habitat for breeding stone curlews

This project seeks to expand on the success of recent restoration trials and will involve a combination of habitat interventions, such as changes to the grazing regime, controlling weed growth and the expansion of the rabbit population, to increase the range of rare Breckland species.

The project was awarded funding under the landfill tax-funded Biffa Award.

John Milton, NWT head of reserves, said: “Cranwich Camp has enormous potential for a number of rare Breckland Specialities, having trialled ground disturbance already at this site and seen impressive results in the thousands of Spanish Catchfly plants that followed.

“Grazing with ponies rather than sheep is taking this site to a whole new level, and is likely to simulate the conditions that have led to the site being one of the most important in the Brecks.

Brendan Joyce, NWT Chief Executive said: “This project at Cranwich Camp is a huge benefit to our wider and ongoing Brecks Heath Partnership, which is working to recreate, restore and sustain our heathlands across the Brecks as well as improve public access to our heathland heritage. We are delighted to receive this very important support from Biffa Award.”Gillian French, Biffa Award, said: “This project is a great example of how the Landfill Communities Fund can support rebuilding biodiversity. The efforts at Cranwich Camp to reintroduce breeding stone curlews are truly inspiring.”