Lottery support for Brecks Fen Edge and Rivers landscape scheme

Lakenheath Fen. Picture by Nick Ford
Lakenheath Fen. Picture by Nick Ford

A proposal for a £3.3 million landscape conservation scheme on the heritage of the Brecks Fen Edge and Rivers has won support from the Heritage Lottery Fund, it was announced today.

Hailed as ‘wonderful news’, the Breaking New Ground Landscape Partnership scheme aims to understand, reveal, celebrate and protect the lost heritage of the Brecks’ Fen Edge and Rivers and raise awareness of how water is fundamental to the story of landscape settlement and development and its biodiversity.

Development funding of £151,100 has also been awarded to help Suffolk County Council to progress its plans to apply for a full grant.

For many years conservation effort has focused on the Brecks’ heaths and forests, but the Breaking New Ground Landscape Partnership identified risks and opportunities relating to the area’s lesser-known watery landscape, which it says ‘includes unique geology, the UK’s only six fluctuating meres and a significant percentage of rare species’.

Councillor Matthew Hicks, Suffolk County Council cabinet member for environment and public protection, said: “This is wonderful news for the Brecks in Suffolk and Norfolk and shows what can be achieved when partnership working is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

“Suffolk County Council is proud to host and support innovative new initiatives such as the Brecks Fen Edge and Rivers Landscape Partnerships. I look forward to seeing the projects develop and the scheme take shape during this 18-month development period.”

Now, 60 partner organisations will work to deliver 46 projects about the fen edge and rivers.

Drew Bennellick, Heritage Lottery Fund head of landscape and natural heritage, said: “Across the UK people are increasingly realising that nature is in trouble and it’s time to take a more proactive approach. Schemes like these provide a creative solution to helping people reconnect with landscapes and the environment.”

The Breaking New Ground Partnership has been hosted by the county council at Brandon Country Park, which is at the heart of the Brecks, to deliver £2.2 million of landscape and heritage conservation projects. The partnership is made up of regional, national and local organisations with an interest in the area, community groups and members of the public.

- Further details on the proposals and development phase of the Brecks Fen Edge and Rivers Landscape Partnership scheme will be presented by Nick Dickson, Breaking New Ground Project Manager, on November 18 at the Carnegie Room, in Thetford. Got to www.breakingnewground.org.uk/events to book.