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John Packman's Broads Briefing January 2019

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Happy New Year,

I hope you had a good break and that 2019 is a great one for you, your family and loved ones.

The year has got off to a gallop for the Broads Authority. We always knew we would be busy running two major projects; CANAPE our last EU funded programme and Water, Mills and Marshes, our Heritage Lottery funded Landscape Partnership Scheme. But we weren’t reckoning on an early visit in the New Year from BBC’s Countryfile Programme. Inevitably this involves a huge amount of preparatory work for our small Communications Team but the opportunity to show some of our projects to a national audience is one not to be missed. Keep an eye out for the show over the coming months.

We also have structural engineers from the Netherlands with us this week looking at our mills as part of Water, Mills and Marshes. The restoration  work at North Mill is complete and we are now moving on to repairing the Victorian pump house at RSPB Strumpshaw Fen. I am delighted that our partnership with Norwich City College seems to be going brilliantly. 

I have been busy in my role as Lead Chief Executive for the National Park family on communications, trying to get agreement from all the National Park Authorities for the establishment of a UK Communications Team to raise the profile of the Parks with the general public. I hope to have some good news by the time I write the February edition.

Please see this month's Broads Briefing below:
January 2019
Further progress at Hickling Broad

During December, the next phase of the CANAPE project commenced with our teams pumping dredged sediment into a number of geotextile bags. The first three bags have now been filled, with the sediment taken from the channel marking the approach to Catfield Dyke.

Following the Christmas break, work will now continue to layout and fill the rest of the geotextile bags. Dredged material will continue to be taken from the Catfield Channel approach (there is approximately half of this area left to dredge) and will then move to the main marked channel.

We are aiming to fill eight of the nine bags before the end of this winter; the ninth bag will be left unfilled so that fish can still pass in and out of the internal lagoon whilst this remains full of water. This final bag will be filled towards the end of the project once the lagoon has been filled with sediment.

Filled geotextile bags at Chara Bay
Volunteering opportunities

As well as having around 150 members of staff, we also have a large number of volunteers who generously give their time to help us look after, manage and promote understanding of the Broads National Park.

We have just advertised for a number of new volunteers including Ranger Volunteers responsible for assisting our Ranger teams on both the land and the water, and Events Volunteers to assist us in attending our busy programme of public engagement events.

If you are interested, or know of anyone else who may be interested, please visit our current volunteering opportunities for further information.

Water Mills and Marshes - Broadsound

The most recent of the Water, Mills and Marshes scheme's 'A Grand for a Grand Idea' projects has recently been completed - Broadsound:

"Broadsound is the first in a series of podcasts taking an explorative and alternative look at the county of Norfolk. In this podcast writer and naturalist, Mark Cocker joins poet, author and UEA lecturer, Jean McNeil on the 12:36 train from Norwich to Great Yarmouth. Their conversation focuses on the broads; Norfolk's unique and alluring National Park. Punctuating their conversation are recordings of Surlingham-based duo 'The Happy Couple' and field recordings made in and around the broads."

You can listen to the show on Soundcloud.

New Rangers

Some of you may know that Robin Allard, one of our long-serving Rangers, retired at the end of last year following 15 years service with the Authority. Robin was a great ambassador for the Broads and we wish him well in his retirement.

I am particularly delighted to welcome two new additions to our Ranger team, Rich and Tobi. They have both joined the Ranger team on the Bure and Ant in full-time positions and will be stationed at Irstead. I hope you will join me in wishing them all the best in their time at the Authority and hope you will say hello if you see them out on the water.

Rich and Tobi, our new Rangers
 Recruitment for seasonal staff

Although it only just feels like we are getting into the heart of winter, we always have to be thinking ahead to the busy summer period at the Broads Authority.

This is especially true when it comes to staffing and each year we have a number of invaluable seasonal staff who join us for the summer period to help us deal with the increasing numbers of visitors to the Broads National Park.

We have recently advertised for a number of vacancies working within the teams at our Information Centres and Yacht Stations for the summer period. Staff in these roles hold incredibly important positions as they are the front-line of the Authority that are directly responsible for helping visitors really enjoy their time here in the Broads.

If you are interested in joining us or know anyone else who would be then please direct them to our current vacancies page on the website.

Anniversary celebrations

In 2019 the Authority is celebrating 30 years since it was set up back in 1989. As part of the celebrations, we will be hosting a 30th anniversary event from Friday 29 March to Tuesday 2 April 2019 at The Forum in Norwich which will include a photographic exhibition titled 'Still Waters'.

The exhibition will showcase the results of our successful photographic competition and the work of a number of influential photographers who have helped the Authority over the last 30 years. There will also be a special aerial video unveiling which I am particularly excited about.

As always, please remember to contact me if you have any questions.

If you know of anyone else who would like to receive my briefings please pass on this link.

Best wishes, 

John Packman
Chief Executive - Broads Authority

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9 hours ago, JennyMorgan said:

We are agreed on that. 

Interestingly no one has commented on the reference to the Countryfile program. Doubtless JP will be using that opportunity to promote his favourite untruth!

Nothing to really comment on. Responses will no doubt be forthcoming once the programme is aired, probably producing a multi-page thread!

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