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Major funding awarded in support of internationally recognised moor

PUBLISHED: 14:41 09 January 2019 | UPDATED: 12:14 11 January 2019

The Sculthorpe Moor Community Nature Reserve. Picture: Ian Burt

The Sculthorpe Moor Community Nature Reserve. Picture: Ian Burt

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It is known for its beauty and tranquillity and now a north Norfolk moor, internationally recognised for its importance to wildlife, is receiving more than £800,000 towards a major expansion.

The Sculthorpe Moor Community Nature Reserve. Pictured is the view from the Tower Hide. Picture: Ian BurtThe Sculthorpe Moor Community Nature Reserve. Pictured is the view from the Tower Hide. Picture: Ian Burt

Norfolk-based charity the Hawk and Owl Trust has been awarded the money from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to go towards its Sculthorpe Fen Appeal.

In December 2017, Hawk and Owl Trust heard that it had been successful in securing initial support for National Lottery funding from the (HLF) enabling a dedicated fundraiser to be employed.

Now the Trust has heard that it has successfully passed the second stage of the application, and received £821,700 to allow purchase of the land and beginning the on-going development and maintenance of the area as a nature reserve and community project.

The funds will be used towards developing the new enlarged reserve, its facilities and expanding the community engagement elements of the project.

The Sculthorpe Moor Community Nature Reserve. Pictured is the view from the Tower Hide. Picture: Ian BurtThe Sculthorpe Moor Community Nature Reserve. Pictured is the view from the Tower Hide. Picture: Ian Burt

Reserve warden Nigel Middleton 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.”

The Hawk and Owl Trust, with its national headquarters based at Sculthorpe, near Fakenham, is currently in the process of raising the money as part of a £1.7m Sculthorpe Fen Appeal to purchase additional land on either side of the existing reserve. The funds will allow the charity to extend its wildlife management into the area and make it fully accessible to all.

Robyn Llewellyn, head of HLF East of England, added: “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.”

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