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Good afternoon everyone,

Our 30th Anniversary celebratory exhibition of photographs at the Forum was very popular and most of the wonderful images of the Broads were sold which raised just under £1,900 for the Broads Charitable Trust. Thanks to everyone,  but particularly Karen and Tom B. who helped make it such a success.

I was also particularly pleased that our national work to promote the 70th Anniversary of National Parks was such a success. I bought a copy of the i newspaper on the Saturday 13 April and was delighted to see the 70 things to do in the 15 National Parks featured in the centre fold. Did you see the special edition of Countryfile? I thought it captured not just beautiful images of the Parks but also a good understanding of some of the challenges involved in their management. If you didn’t get a chance to see it and want to, here is the link:

The warm weather over the Easter weekend has meant that our 2019 season has started really well. Lots of boats have been out on the water, fortunately with very few incidents for our Rangers to deal with. Our Tolls Team has already processed payments for over 9,500 boats, about three-quarters of what we expect for the whole year. It is a very intense period for them and a big thank you to Theresa, Julie, Ruth and John from me for handling all the enquiries with such good grace, and of course to toll-payers for their patience.

Please see this month's Broads Briefing below:
April 2019
Broads Engage Workshop

Last week we held our second Broads Engage event, this time looking at the big pressures and drivers on the environment as part of the review of the Broads Biodiversity and Water Management. Over 40 people attended the event in Hoveton Village Hall with a range of interests represented from parish councils, landowners and conservation bodies.

The three main themes were supported:

  1. Restoring, maintaining and enhancing water quality (Lakes and diffuse pollution especially)
  2. Managing existing fen, reed-bed, wet grassland and wet woodland (Management, helping priority species, controlling invasive species)
  3. Extending and creating new areas of high biodiversity value habitats, networks and buffer zones (Bigger, better, more, joined; coordination and communication)

We will now be working it up as a draft ultimately for discussion at the July meeting of the Broads Authority. If you were unable to attend and would like to submit any comments please send me an email as they would be very welcome.

New Local Plan

At last Friday’s Planning Committee the Inspector’s Report into the Local Plan for the Broads was endorsed and the Local Plan will now go to the Broads Authority meeting on 17 May for adoption.

The Inspector concluded that with modifications the Local Plan is sound. We will be writing to all the key stakeholders following that meeting with more information. Once the Local Plan is adopted it will replace all our current planning policies. This has been a huge exercise for the Authority and its staff, Natalie in particular, and I am conscious that many of you have also given considerable time to help us with it for which I am very thankful.

Some of the issues we have tackled have been addressed for the first time in the Broads Local Plan, for example assessing and meeting housing needs including residential moorings; addressing safety by the water and having policies on retail. If you would like any further information in the meantime please contact Natalie.

Café at Acle Bridge

I am really pleased that the warm weather gave the newly opened Dunes River Café at our Acle Bridge site a flying start to the season. The café and toilet block opened a few weeks ago and we have been really impressed by the work that has gone on to refurbish the tired building that was there. They are selling a range of hot and cold food, drinks and provisions for boaters - we'd like to wish them the best of luck for the coming summer.

cafe exterior
The Dunes River Café
The interior of the new café at Acle Bridge
The interior of the café
CLIF Bar sponsorship

The latest sponsorship deal won by National Park Partnerships on our behalf is with CLIF Bar, an American company that produces organic foods and drinks. The company is based in Emeryville, California, and its flagship product, CLIF Bar, is an energy bar.

Under the sponsorship agreement the company will be funding two community conservation projects at Whitlingham Country Park and Hoveton Riverside Park to the value of £10,000.

Appointments to the Broads Authority

There are two vacancies on the Broads Authority for members appointed by the Secretary of State. In case you haven’t seen it below is a link to the information. Can you please pass on and circulate through your networks and encourage interested candidates to apply:

Lorna Fisher's journey to 'Pedal the Parks'

Over the last two weeks Lorna Fisher, the Engagement Manager at the Peak District National Park, has been undertaking an incredible cycling journey to 'Pedal the Parks' through all 15 of the UK's National Parks.

Her 1,600 mile route began in the Cairngorms in Scotland, travelled south throughout the UK and finished here in Norfolk. We were delighted on Sunday to welcome her and a friend to the Broads, and after a rather wet ride to our Hoveton Tourist Information Centre (via Ranworth) they learned all about the area and enjoyed a well-deserved rest on our Liana boat trip. I'd like to express my congratulations to Lorna on this impressive feat and to our staff members who made her feel welcome.

The challenge was to increase awareness of our National Parks and to raise money for the Peak District National Park foundation. You can read more and donate online:

Lorna and Grace with Broads Authority staff at the finish line in Hoveton
Lorna and Grace with Broads Authority staff at the finish line in Hoveton
Water, Mills and Marshes

Our Water, Mills & Marshes staff went out with a group from English+ (plus) to Strumpshaw Fen to help with the restoration of the Steam Engine House. Participants learned new heritage construction skills including brickwork and repointing on a beautiful spring day along the River Yare. English+ is a charity in Norwich supporting communities to learn English, form friendships and to make the city of Norwich a home.

Repointing at RSPB Strumpshaw Fen
Repointing at RSPB Strumpshaw Fen
The Tide Jetty

Finally and by no means least can I draw your attention to the performances of The Tide Jetty in a marquee at Burgh Castle from Wednesday 22nd May to Saturday 25th May. The play has been created by Eastern Angles, one of Water Mills and Marshes partners, and is touring throughout East Anglia. Author Tony Ramsay has written a piece based on Breydon Water at the end of the 1800s. A human drama it cleverly reflects the environment and activities of the period.

More information and booking tickets can be found at

I hope all is going well for you and as always please remember to contact me directly if you have any questions. If you know of anyone else who would like to receive my briefings please pass on this link.

Best wishes, 

John Packman
Chief Executive - Broads Authority

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Banner artwork courtesy of Dave Thompson

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