Hidden 90-acre wildlife haven in city secured after £600k investment

Norfolk Wildlife Trust has announced its ambition to create a brand new nature reserve for Norwich,

Norfolk Wildlife Trust has announced its ambition to create a brand new nature reserve for Norwich, located on Sweet Briar Marshes. - Credit: Archant

The future of an urban nature reserve which will be a "haven for wildlife" in the city is safe following tireless work by volunteers.

Norfolk Wildlife Trust has been in negotiations for around a year after announcing its ambition to turn Sweet Briar Marshes into a "flagship nature reserve" in February. 

The 90-acre site located next to the River Wensum to the west of the city is an area of disused farmland.

It has since become home to many rare species of birds, amphibians, insects and flowers.

Sweet Briar Marshes - Credit: Richard Osbourne

And it could soon be accessible for city cyclists, pedestrians and river users after £600,000 was raised from the public for the project in addition to £300,000 in match funding from Aviva.

Liam Calvert, a convenor of the Sweet Briar community campaign and chairman of the Wensum Residents' Association said: "There is definitely some thought on the degree of public access to work out which parts of the site will be used.

"People will have a green space to explore and it will be a haven for wildlife very much in the heart of the city."

Norfolk Wildlife Trust plans to turn Sweet Briar Marsh into nature reserve

Norfolk Wildlife Trust has announced its ambitions to turn a hidden "haven of wildness" in Norwich into a 'flagship' nature reserve a year ago. - Credit: Archant 2022