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The Broads is one of Europe’s largest and most important wetlands. Many of its 28 Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) are afforded European and global protected status. 40% of The Broads is wet grassland, which is traditionally grazed and can support abundant and varied wildlife. Farming and land management therefore play a central role in the conservation of this precious landscape and its wildlife.

Through Water, Mills and Marshes, free support is available from a dedicated RSPB advisor to support wet grassland landowners on The Broads with enhancements to benefit wildlife

Creating wet features

Creation of wet features (footdrains, scrapes and dykes), management of water levels and maintenance of vegetation structure and composition through grazing are key to the successful delivery of wetland habitat for breeding waders and wintering waterfowl.

Grazing to save species

Through sensitive livestock management, it is  possible to balance the commercial needs of grazing alongside the provision of habitat requirements which enable key wetland bird species such as lapwing and redshank to thrive. Working with Broadland farmers we have developed simple, tried and tested techniques for creating the ideal habitat conditions for these birds, with minimal disruption to grazing regimes.

Agri-environment funding for wet grassland features

The enhancements required to benefit wildlife do not have to be paid for by landowners and farmers.

Shallow wet features such as footdrains can be installed relatively quickly and cheaply, and are funded within government agri-environment schemes.

Whilst quick and simple, proper installation of these features in appropriate areas can dramatically increase breeding success of wader species with minimal impact on farming operations.

Creation of wet grassland, such as by reversion from arable production can also attract generous agri-environment payments and deliver wider ecosystem services including carbon sequestration, improved water quality and flood prevention.

What’s on offer:

We’re offering farmers and landowners in the Broads

  • Tailored advice on enhancements to existing grazing marsh
  • Support with new and existing grassland Agri-Environment Schemes
  • Breeding wader and wintering waterfowl monitoring
  • Workshops and site visits in coordination with Norfolk FWAG
  • Bi-annual newsletters and advice materials for anyone interested in wet grassland management and creation.

Get in touch today

Contact Jamie Murphy, RSPB Broads Land Management Advisor:
jamie.murphy@rspb.org.uk
Phone: 01603697519 / 07834535382