Sculthorpe nature reserve scoops £820k Heritage Lottery grant
The long-term future of a popular nature reserve near Fakenham can now be secured after it was awarded a lottery grant of more than £800,000, officials say.
The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has awarded £821,700 to the Hawk and Owl Trust, which runs the Sculthorpe Moor site.
And bosses say the investment will allow them to extend their existing environmental and community work.
Adrian Blumfield, the trust’s chief operations director, said: “The local community has always been at the heart of Sculthorpe Moor Nature Reserve.
“This grant will enable us to significantly increase the size and impact of the reserve, providing a place for the community to experience nature and to get involved, as so many already do, with a wealth of volunteering opportunities.”
The funding equates to around half the cost of a project to expand the reserve onto neighbouring lands.
The remainder is being sought through an ongoing public appeal, which is due to end in May.
The campaign will enable the trust to purchase two areas of land, known as Sculthorpe Fen, adjacent to the current reserve site.
Although the trust has maintained the lands for many years, they say owning them will allow the wider area to reach its full potential.
Reserve manager Nigel Llewellyn said: “The extension and development of the reserve has been a long time coming, but desperately hoped for.
“Sculthorpe is an oasis in the midst of intensive agriculture and the huge and diverse wildlife to be found here bears testament to how important for wildlife it is – and what effect the larger area will have on the biodiversity in this part of Norfolk.
“I was shaking when I heard that we had been awarded the money – what a rosy future the reserve now has!”
Robyn Llewellyn, head of the HLF in East Anglia, said: “Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, Sculthorpe Moor’s wildlife will have more space to thrive and people of all ages and backgrounds will have some fantastic opportunities to enjoy their natural heritage and be a part of building a bright future for the reserve.”