Good afternoon everyone,
It seems we are facing another week of uncertainty with our national politics, with a general election looking very likely. Of particular interest to the Broads Authority will be the Chancellor’s one year Spending Review which is due to be announced today and will provide the overall figure for Defra’s funding.
Furthermore, uncertainty about the likely direction for the nation’s economy may well be having an impact locally, with our Rangers observing that it seems to have been a quieter August this year. Let’s hope the current impasse is resolved in a positive way soon.
Please see this month's Broads Briefing below:
UK National Parks Communications Team
I have previously mentioned that the Broads Authority is to host a new Communications Unit for the UK’s National Parks. I am delighted to say it is up and running and the two new members of staff are in place. Alastair Barber is the Communications and Marketing Manager and Tobie Galvin the Digital Communications Officer. One of their first tasks will be preparing for the roll out of the adopted new branding for the collective family of 15 National Parks in October.
Fen Harvester at Carlton Marshes
Last week I took two new members of staff out to Carlton Marshes to show them this key location in the Broads and meet Wayne Collins who is operating the Fen Harvester for us on the site. This is part of the regular cut the site receives to maintain its habitat. It was a reminder to me of the difficult conditions our staff often work in and the care they have to take in looking after the equipment and their own safety.
We also met Matt Gooch, Suffolk Wildlife Trust’s Warden, and I was very pleased to learn that the initial earthworks for the newly acquired land, which had originally thought likely to take 2 years, and then re-programmed to six months, had been finished in four months. It was also good to see the contractors for the new Visitor Centre on site. The opening of the new building will certainly be one of the highlights of next summer.
A brimming full Fen Harvester at Carlton Marshes
National Parks review
Last Wednesday The Today programme on Radio 4 included coverage of the National Park Review with an interview with Julian Glover. Here is the link:
https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m0007wd3. You can hear our own Dan Hoare in a short piece on Hickling starting at 10:36 minutes from the beginning. Julian Glover's interview is at 1:52:50 – just before the 8:00 o’clock news.
A short video of Dan can be found using the following link: https://twitter.com/BBCr4today/status/1166670211086540800
The big idea announced proposed by Julian was his suggestion for a large increase in the number of Rangers from 230 nationally to 1,000 as part of a National Ranger Service. There is little detail about this however he indicates that he is a great supporter of local delivery and local decision-making but seems to be advocating taking top level decisions and setting ambitions nationally. I am not sure how you can square those two things – we shall have to wait for the final report due out “in the autumn”.
'Responding to the climate emergency' report
You may recall that in the July Broads Briefing I referred to the fact that we are working on a report for our September Authority meeting to support a discussion about what further action the Broads Authority might take on reducing CO2 emissions.
Helpfully, the New Anglia LEP (the Norfolk and Suffolk Local Economic Partnership) has commissioned a scoping report from UEA entitled Climate Change Adaptation and Carbon Reduction Action Plan.
It provides an excellent summary of the scientific background and I have already circulated it to Broads Authority Members, staff and Parish Council Clerks. I thought other readers of the Briefing might find it of interest so please take a look on the link above.
Marker posts on Breydon Water
In our work-plan for September we have scheduled in the beginning of works to replace 16 marker posts that denote the marked channel on Breydon Water. We had lost some of the existing wooden ones due to their exposed location on Breydon, being bumped into by passing craft and also being eaten by the interestingly named 'gribble worm'. The new posts are made from steel which we hope will be much more durable and able to cope with the challenging conditions.
CANAPE Peat Discovery Days at How Hill
Following the recent findings published by the UK Peatlands Inventory, our CANAPE team have been busy sharing the message of how important peatlands are with the wider community.
This included four 'Peat Discovery Days' which took place at How Hill. Families took part in peat coring which allowed them to hold carbon stored from 2,000 years ago in their hands and to learn more about this vitally important part of the Broads landscape. You can visit the CANAPE blog to learn more.
Harry, our CANAPE Project Manager, assisting the peat coring at How Hill
Adjacent water checks
September is typically the month in which our Rangers start their second round of adjacent water checks. This involves visiting dykes, marinas, broads or other enclosed waters that are connected to the main navigation area to check whether vessels kept there are registered with the Broads Authority, have paid tolls, have valid insurance and comply with the Boat Safety Scheme requirements. These important checks help us to receive the correct amount of tolls income relative to the number of boats using the broads, and ensures that vessels on the rivers are safe and insured.
As always please remember you can contact me directly if you have any questions. If you know of anyone else who would like to receive my briefings please pass on this link.
Chief Executive - Broads Authority