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Money from bird and wildlife fair will boost Norfolk's rich wetlands

PUBLISHED: 14:26 16 January 2019 | UPDATED: 08:44 24 January 2019

Pensthorpe owners and Norfolk Bird and Wildlife Fair organisers, Bill and Deb Jordan, with Pamela Abbott, chief executive of Norfolk Wildlife Trust. Picture: STEVE ADAMS

Pensthorpe owners and Norfolk Bird and Wildlife Fair organisers, Bill and Deb Jordan, with Pamela Abbott, chief executive of Norfolk Wildlife Trust. Picture: STEVE ADAMS

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Proceeds from a new Norfolk Bird and Wildlife Fair will help preserve the county's animal-rich wetlands.

Organisers of the event, to take place at Pensthorpe Natural Park near Fakenham, have named Norfolk Wildlife Trust (NWT) as its charity beneficiary.

The trust plans to use the funds to restore and care for wetlands at its nature reserves in the Broads National Park.

Bill Jordan, Pensthorpe Natural Park owner, said: “As a park we have long been committed to championing local wetlands and encouraging people to appreciate their necessity within the region’s ecosystems.

“In being able to raise funds for Norfolk Wildlife Trust we know that our event will not only facilitate people’s passion for birding and nature but will enable us to reinvest in the protection and careful management of the vital wetland habitats on our doorstep.”

Wetlands at Hickling Broad. Picture: MIKE PAGEWetlands at Hickling Broad. Picture: MIKE PAGE

The May 18-19 fair aims to showcase Norfolk as the birdwatching capital of Britain.

MORE: Norfolk set to be showcased as Britain’s birdwatching capital

Pamela Abbott, the trust’s chief executive, said: “Norfolk has globally significant wetlands, from our beautiful broads in the east to the internationally-rare valley mire in the West at Roydon Common, ponds and pingos in south Norfolk and the unrivalled north Norfolk coast.

“Reed beds are home to marsh harriers, bearded tits and bitterns. The broads are important for otters and dragonflies and the fens and ditches home to scarce wetland plants, water voles, kingfishers and little grebes.”

Norfolk’s marshes provide winter habitat for wigeon, teal and brent geese, breeding habitat for redshank and lapwing, and a stopover for many wildfowl and waders.

Roydon Common, which is also home to wetlands. Picture: NIGEL PICKOVERRoydon Common, which is also home to wetlands. Picture: NIGEL PICKOVER

Kevin Hart, the trust’s head of nature reserves, said: “Our wetlands provide important habitat for much rare and threatened wildlife.

“Our wildlife’s preservation depends on active management – grazing, cutting, mowing, scrub clearance and more – to keep the habitats in healthy condition. Norfolk Wildlife Trust will use the donation from Norfolk Bird and Wildlife Fair to continue our work protecting and enhancing our crucial wetlands.”

NWT reserves in the Broads include Upton Broad and Marshes, South Walsham, Ranworth Broad and Hickling Broad.

Tickets for the fair cost £8 per person, visit www.pensthorpe.com/birdfair or call 01328 851465 for more.

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