Biodiversity in action in the Broads

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Rare fungus makes a comeback

A rare fungus not seen in Norfolk for 200 years has been discovered in Whitlingham Woods.

The Coral tooth fungus, Hericium coralloides, was discovered in Whitlingham Country Park in 2010 - the only other record from Norfolk is one from the early part of the 19th century in West Norfolk.

Fen orchids reach record numbers

Record number of fen orchids, Liparis loeselii, have been recorded following Broads National Park fen restoration work in the Ant Valley. This rare plant is only found in the Broads and one other site in the UK.

Counting is currently in progress, but anecdotal evidence points to an abundance of these orchids where previously none was found.

More species on the increase in the Broads

  • Breeding otter - 10 years ago sightings were rare; now frequent reports (seen at least weekly)
  • European crane populations - several pairs in UK in at least five counties, most in the Broads
  • Osprey staying around for longer in the Broads - none nesting but possibly looking for sites
  • Increase in number of lakes with holly-leaved Naiad Naias marina (rare water plant only found in the Broads) - in three new sites as a result of restoration work
  • Stoneworts (rare algae) on the increase - in seven new sites as a result of our restoration work
  • Water voles - on the increase after work to manage predators (mink) - see below (Trinity Broads)
  • Bitterns - previously rarely seen - peak was 70 booming males in the 1950s; in 1997 only 11 booming male bitterns in UK, mainly in Norfolk and Suffolk; now more than 50 booming in UK, around 15 booming males in the Broads

Trinity Broads: clean-up wins award

After 15 years of work to transform part of the Broads, in 2010 the Broads National Park and its partners won a prestigious national environment award.

The Trinity Broads, near Great Yarmouth, won an award in the natural environment category at the Waterways Renaissance Awards 2010.

The Broads National Park Authority, Essex and Suffolk Water, Natural England and the Environment Agency have been in partnership since 1995 to improve water quality and people’s enjoyment of the area by activities including mud-pumping, scrub removal and managing non-native species such as mink.

The majority of the Trinity Broads area, which is a Site of Special Scientific Interest, a Special Area of Conservation and provides drinking water for Great Yarmouth, now has:

  • clear water
  • a profusion of water plants
  • diverse range of fish
  • return of rare wildlife such as the water vole

Water fleas help in the clean-up

An innovative technique was used at Ormesby Broad to encourage water fleas to thrive and clear the water of algae, encouraging aquatic plants to grow and a diverse range of fish to develop. The resulting clear water has now permeated to the other broads in the group.

Broads Restoration Programme

Species on the increase after clean-up

  • Rare plants such as the holly-leaved naiad and stoneworts
  • Molluscs such as the Desmoulin’s whorl snail
  • Bats are now a common sight
  • Bittern sightings are a weekly occurrence
  • Otters make an appearance on average once a month

Greater variety of fish being seen

Formerly varieties were limited to roach and bream but now anglers report catching:

  • pike
  • perch
  • tench
  • rudd

More information on Trinity Broads work