Help the Carlton Marshes appeal for people and wildlife

We’re very lucky to be situated in a unique location in the southern Broads. The area’s scenic beauty, big skies and abundant wildlife are typified by our neighbouring Carlton Marshes nature reserve, just across the river in Suffolk. The reserve can be reached via our own pedestrian ferry, opened by David Bellamy in 2012, transports visitors across the river to the reserve and back.

The reserve is run by the Suffolk Wildlife Trust and has been recognised as a site of national importance due to its populations of nationally rare animals, birds and plants, some of which are not found anywhere else in the UK. The good news for people and wildlife is that the reserve is about to become a lot better, as the Trust plans a huge extension to create a mix of new habitats, protect the existing wildlife and attract new species to the reserve.

However, in order to do this, they need your help. The Trust has raised an appeal to raise £1million to purchase extra land to create a mix of wetland habitats, including reed, marsh and fen – all reclaimed from farmland. The funding will also lead to additional bird hides and a new cycle path, which will be accessed via our pedestrian ferry across the river.

Due to the site’s significance for nature, the appeal has received some high-profile support from the likes of Sir David Attenborough and BBC TV’s Countryfile, with the reserve featured in the programme at on Sunday 14th May – you can watch it here. Matt Gooch, Carlton Marshes Reserve Warden with Matt Baker from BBC Countryfile
Matt Gooch, Carlton Marshes Reserve Warden with Matt Baker from BBC Countryfile

Michael Strand, Development Manager for the Trust explains, “We’ve always known that what we are trying to do at Carlton Marshes is important, not just for local people and wildlife, but also in creating refuges for rare migrant species.

“Our vision for the reserve is for it to be a destination where people will come from across the UK to enjoy a close-up experience of nature. This visit from Countryfile demonstrates the site’s significance while also giving us a welcome opportunity to talk to a national audience about how they can help protect this unique part of the country.

“We will be able to transform this entire upper Waveney Valley of 1,000 acres over the next 3-5 years and it will benefit the Broads in several ways:

  • There’s only a handful of places in UK where you can create a new green space on the doorstep of an urban area. There’s 75,000 people in Lowestoft and the population will be able to walk for free on to the reserve and experience it for free
  • Not only that it helps put the southern Broads and businesses like Waveney River Centre on the map as the reserve can be enjoyed all year round
  • The Broads is already the most biodiverse National Park and more people will be attracted to the area from the likes of London and south east, which will benefit the local economy.

Here at Waveney River Centre, we’re doing our bit by adding a voluntary £1 to every booking we receive, which is donated to the appeal.

If you’re into walking, you can not only visit the reserve, but take the Angles Way long distance footpath to Oulton Broad (around 45 mins), to Beccles (around 3 hours), or try one of the circular walks along the route. We regularly welcome customers in the Waveney Inn who stop for breakfast or lunch before or after a walk, or simply a drink on our deck, which has great views of the reserve.

To find out more about the Carlton Marshes appeal and make a donation, visit

We look forward to seeing you soon.

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