Staff at the Broads Authority will be running, walking or cycling 25km on Saturday to celebrate the organisation’s 25th anniversary and raise money for projects to protect and nurture Britain’s magical waterland.
And in addition to dozens of staff journeying from Whitlingham Visitor Centre along the Wherryman’s Way to Loddon there will be a number of Broads souvenirs which will be laid in various geocache sites along the route for people to find.
Would be treasure hunters can download the co-ordinates and clues from www.geocaching.com under the name friedagaric.
The journey for staff will end with a well-earned barbecue washed down with Woodforde’s Flagondry – an ale especially brewed to mark the Authority’s silver anniversary.
All sponsorship raised by the effort will go to the Love the Broads charity, which administers projects to benefit conservation, environment and tourism facilities within the Broads and its immediate surroundings.
Broads Authority Chief Executive Dr John Packman, who will be among the cyclists, said: “I speak on behalf of all staff and volunteers when I say how proud we are to be part of an organisation that has made such strides in managing and looking after this precious part of the national park family.
“Twenty-five years is a significant milestone and it is important that we celebrate the Authority and all its achievements during that time. It is particularly fitting that we are making the journey along the Wherryman’s Way as helping to establish this route is one of those achievements. “My thanks go to all our staff and volunteers for making everything we have done possible.”
Walkers and runners will be setting off from Whitlingham at 8.30am on Saturday and cyclists will be following at 12pm. Sponsorship can be made at www.justgiving.com/broads-authority
25 of the Broads Authority’s biggest achievements over the last 25 years
1 Dramatic improvements in water quality – thriving water plants and clear water are the best in half a century
2 Return of rare wildlife – bittern, marsh harriers, otters, cranes, buzzard
3 Barton Broad restored and a new boardwalk built providing access for disabled visitors
4 Britain’s first passenger solar boat ‘Ra’ launched – now operating on Whitlingham Broad
5 Canoe and bike hire networks started
6 Raised standards of eating establishments through the Eating Out Guide
7 Improved sustainable practices through Green Tourism Business scheme
8 Revived the reed and sedge cutting industry in the Broads
9 Trained millwrights to keep heritage skills alive
10 Developed Whitlingham Country Park for visitors
11 Improved access to the Broads for people with disabilities – footpaths and wheelchair accessible fishing platforms.
12 Helped develop the long distance footpath, the Wherryman’s Way, with partners.
13 Works with young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, inspiring them about the Broads and wild spaces.
14 Provided more than 60 free 24 hour moorings, all with safety features
15 Extended electric charging points across the Broads to encourage eco-friendly boating
16 Took the dredging operation in-house—achieving 25% more dredging for less money
17 Built a new dockyard facility as the hub of its maintenance work
18 Restored two historic reed beds by reusing dredged sediment.
19 Works with the Environment Agency on flood defence
20 Improved safety on the Broads
21 Took over the management of Breydon Water from Gt Yarmouth Port Authority
22 Invested in high speed, heavy duty launch for Breydon Water with year round patrols
23 Established three visitor hubs each with their own boat trip
24 Took over the management and refurbished Norwich and Gt Yarmouth Yacht Stations
25 New branding has changed the image of the Broads as Britain’s magical waterland, a nature lover’s paradise