Funding bid made for Thetford water meadow

A funding bid to restore an area of water meadow for a variety of wildlife has been submitted in the nick of time.

The British Trust for Ornithology, based in Thetford, this week secured �10,000 from the town council which allowed it to make a larger funding bid.

A two-part application for �200,000 has now been submitted by the trust to WREN (Waste Recycling Environmental) which awards grants for projects which enhance the environment.

Some �122,000 of this will be used for the restoration of a water meadow in Thetford while �89,000 will be used to restore and enhance wetland habitats at Watermill Broad, Cranwich.

BTO press officer Paul Stancliffe said the �10,000 from Thetford Town Council, which was confirmed in writing just in time, on the last day the funding application could be submitted, was needed as third-party funding to qualify for WREN monies.

It came from a section 106 agreement from four homes built on Nightingale Way by Abbey Homes and was ring-fenced for the “ongoing maintenance of the adjoining nature site” – Nunnery Lakes.

Mr Stancliffe thanked the town council and added: “The water meadows have become clogged with glyceria and become too dry so to call them water meadows is overstating it a little bit at the moment.

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“It’s an important habitat and will help some of our struggling bird species.”

If successful, the �122,000 will be used to create channels to bring water back to the area.

Work is not scheduled to begin until September 1 this year and is expected to take four years. “We took the site over in 1991 and we’ve continued with ongoing management but it needs a lot more work carrying out,” Mr Stancliffe added.

“It’ll make a lot of difference to the wildlife of Thetford and it has open access so we hope it’ll make a lot of difference to the people of Thetford as well.”

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