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Broads Authority

Broads Authority
Dragonfly House,
2 Gilders Way,

Tel: 01603 610734
Fax: 01603 756069

Web: http://www.broads-authority.gov.uk/
Information Centres: http://www.broads-authority.gov.uk/visiting/tourist-information-centres.html

The Broads is Britain's largest inland waterway, with over 125 miles of navigable rivers and broads. This area provides opportunities for boating, birdwatching, fishing, walking and quiet enjoyment of the countryside. The broads also include fens, wet tangled woodlands, and acres of flat open marshlands. It is a haven for wildlife, with species like the swallowtail butterfly and the Norfolk hawker dragonfly, which are found nowhere else in Britain.

In the past the broads have suffered considerable environmental damage and in order to stop the decline and begin restoration the Broads Authority was set up.

The Broads is now treated and protected like a National Park. The Authority's major objective is to balance the needs of conserving wildlife, protecting local people's interests and livelihoods, protecting the rights of navigation and ensuring that visitors can enjoy the Broads.

The restoration programmes underway include:

Improving the water quality

  • The delicate balance of the water has been disturbed due to both nitrate and phosphate eutrophication. The Authority is looking at several ways of solving this problem including the removal of the phosphate-rich mud and by collaborating with Anglian Water to improve the quality of the water which discharges from the sewage works into the rivers.
Bank protection to control erosion
  • The banks along some areas of the Broads have eroded by up to 3 metres in ten years. This has been due to the decline in water plants which naturally protect the banks and due to the use of motor boats causing waves which wash away the soil from the edges. The Authority is looking at different techniques for bank protection and for reducing the wash from boats.
Protection of the fens.
  • There has been a significant loss of wildlife habitats and landscapes. Fens consist of open areas of reeds, sedges and other marshy plants growing on a spongy peat soil. If these are not cut and harvested regularly they rapidly turn into woodlands by a natural process called succession. The Broads Authority is re-introducing management back into the fens to reclaim fens and restore the balance between fens and woodlands.
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