Delight as Sculthorpe nature reserve land deal done
A deal has been completed which will eventually make a popular nature reserve near Fakenham more than four times its current size.
The Hawk and Owl Trust, which runs the Sculthorpe Moor site, has announced it has signed a contract to buy 150 acres of land around its existing site.
The agreement follows the completion of a two-year campaign to raise around £1.7 million to purchase the land, including the award of an £820,000 lottery grant earlier this year.
And a fresh project to develop and manage the newly-purchased lands is set to be launched later this summer.
Officials say the agreement, which will increase the size of the reserve from its present 45 acres to almost 200, is critical to securing the site’s long-term future.
Reserve manager Nigel Middleton said: “I have been working towards this since first seeing the land 18 years ago. For much of the time it seemed like a hopeless cause, but now the dream has come true.
“The trust will benefit but at the heart of it all, it will be the wildlife and local people in this area that will be the true beneficiaries.
“I can’t tell you how excited I am for the future of the reserve.”
Adrian Blumfield, the Hawk and Owl Trust’s chief operations director, added: “It has taken lot of effort to reach this stage, and the project to bring this land to the point of being an amazing place for wildlife and people has only just begun.
“A lot of people and businesses have been a part of this vision, so far, and I thank them all. This is a fantastic landmark in this process. The future is bright.”
Work on the next phase of the project is due to begin in early August. A new site entrance and pathways are among the developments planned within the scheme.