Hoveton Great Broad – should public money buy public access?

Folks in Norfolk are getting hot under the collar because one of the owners of one of the area’s closed broads, the magnificent Hoveton Great Broad between Wroxham and Horning, are applying for a large Heritage Lottery Fund grant to carry out works to clear the sediment and restore water quality – but without offering significant access to the broad in return.

The broad, which has been closed to public navigation for 120 years and has been allowed to become silted up, is to have only extremely limited supervised public access by canoe to certain marsh areas in return – but not the broad itself, which will continue to be available to the owners and their friends.

Local campaigners argue that this is public money, and it if is to be spent breathing new life into the broad, the public should have much greater freedom to enjoy it. I think I agree with them.

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