Ed­i­tor’s com­ment

EADT Suffolk - - CONTENTS - JAYNE LINDILL, Ed­i­tor, EADT Suf­folk jayne.lindill@eadt.co.uk

One of the big­gest chal­lenges for Suf­folk is how we bal­ance the need to build houses with con­serv­ing the es­sen­tially un­spoilt char­ac­ter of our county. Our mar­ket towns and larger vil­lages are thriv­ing. They’re where peo­ple want to live, raise their fam­i­lies, ex­pe­ri­ence the tremen­dous ben­e­fits of a closeknit com­mu­nity. But they are also un­der enor­mous pres­sure. Hous­ing is in short sup­ply as the pop­u­la­tion in­creases and de­mo­graph­ics change. New res­i­den­tial de­vel­op­ments nib­ble away at the green fringes of our ur­ban cen­tres, rub­bing up against pre­cious, frag­ile wild habi­tats. Peo­ple need de­cent, af­ford­able hous­ing, in places where they want to live, with easy ac­cess to where they find work. The ben­e­fits to health and well­be­ing of liv­ing close to na­ture, in green spa­ces, are now well un­der­stood. But at no time have we bet­ter un­der­stood the need to con­serve and pro­tect the nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment, to halt the de­cline of species of flora and fauna, to ar­rest de­struc­tion of habi­tat, and what that loss means for the fu­ture of the planet. It’s a huge and wor­ry­ing sit­u­a­tion for any­one to man­age.

‘New res­i­den­tial de­vel­op­ments nib­ble away at the green fringes of our ur­ban cen­tres, rub­bing up against pre­cious, frag­ile habi­tats’

Or­gan­i­sa­tions like Suf­folk Wildlife Trust and the Na­tional Trust have never been more rel­e­vant. The prac­ti­cal work they do, both staff and vol­un­teers, in car­ing for sen­si­tive en­vi­ron­ments, as well as lob­by­ing gov­ern­ments, is vi­tally im­por­tant.

The Na­tional Trust owns and man­ages some of the re­gion’s most pre­cious land­scapes and lo­ca­tions from Wicken Fen and Dun­wich Heath to Sut­ton Hoo and Or­ford Ness, so it’s good to hear about its plans to pur­chase more land, solely for the pur­poses of cre­at­ing habi­tats for wildlife. Ac­cord­ing to east of Eng­land re­gional di­rec­tor Paul Fore­cast, the trust aims to take on an ad­di­tional 1,000 hectares in the re­gion by 2025, a 10 per cent up­lift in land al­ready man­aged by the or­gan­i­sa­tion in the east.

Mean­while Suf­folk Wildlife Trust’s pub­lic ap­peal to help fund cre­ation of a 1,000 acre Broad­land na­ture re­serve has hit its tar­get. The whole project – pur­chase of 384acres of land, habi­tat restora­tion and the build­ing of a state-of-theart vis­i­tor cen­tre – will cost £8mil­lion. The trust re­ceived a £4 mil­lion grant from Her­itage Lot­tery Fund, and the re­main­der has been raised via the pub­lic, a New Anglia LEP grant, legacy gifts and vol­un­teer time. By 2020 a brand new eco-build vis­i­tor cen­tre will wel­come vis­i­tors from far and wide to the south­ern gate­way of the Broads Na­tional Park. I salute their am­bi­tion.

Carl­ton Marshes, with newly pur­chased land to the bot­tom right and up­per left

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