New five-year plan for the Broads launched this week

Earlier this week, the Broads Authority and partners launched the latest Broads Plan, setting out ambitions for the future of the Broads and actions to ensure the continued protection and enhancement of this special area.

partners stood outside during the broads plan launch

The Broads Plan is the key management plan used by the Authority and its partners, governing all areas of our work and setting out a vision for the future of the Broads. It covers a five-year period, from 2022 to 2027 and is developed through consultation with partners, stakeholders and members of the public.

The launch event on 14 November was attended by a wide range of strategic partners, including representatives from the Broads Hire Boat Federation, Norfolk and Suffolk Boat Owners Association, Natural England, Norfolk and Suffolk County Councils, RSPB, National Farmers Union, Wildlife Trusts, Norfolk Rivers Trust, water companies and others, all with a vital role to play in the future of the Broads.

The new strategy builds on the fact that the Broads is already a place where nature and economy work hand-in-hand, but also comes at a time when the area is facing an acceleration of both existing and fresh challenges. Increasing costs due to inflation, combined with diminishing public spending , are likely to be constant features throughout the five-year period covered by the plan.

The long-term vision for the Broads is set out under six themes:

  • Responding to climate change and flood risk;
  • Improving landscapes for biodiversity and agriculture;
  • Maintaining and enhancing the navigation;
  • Protecting landscape character and the historic environment;
  • Promoting understanding and enjoyment;
  • Connecting and inspiring communities.

The plan acknowledges a much greater awareness and urgency of the need to address the impacts of climate change and flood risk, as well as creating opportunities to inspire and support people in acting to protect this special area. Nature recovery is at the heart of the Plan, and it commits to improve key habitats to help the over 11,000 wildlife species recorded here to recover and flourish, including priority species that are in decline or on the brink of survival.

Maintaining and enhancing the navigation is also at the forefront of the new plan, as we seek to balance the needs of those who visit this special area to enjoy boating and water sports with other responsibilities. This includes objectives to implement a comprehensive dredging and sediment re-use programme, management of riverside trees/scrub, improve safety on the water, maintain and expand riverside facilities, and ambitions to extend access for various types of craft.

Also addressed in the plan is how the COVID-19 pandemic has led to shifting perceptions amongst the public about the value of nature for health and wellbeing. In the past two years, the Broads and other open spaces have seen significant increases in visitors.

Alongside visitors familiar with the area, we welcomed people who may be venturing to the Broads for the first time. The plan seeks to ensure that the Broads connects with and inspires a wide range of communities, including young people, those from minority backgrounds and people who may have never been here before.

While the Broads Plan is published by the Broads Authority it has always been a partnership strategy representing the joint vision of the Authority, our partners and our many stakeholders.

Broads Authority Chairman Bill Dickson said:

“The Broads Plan is ambitious, setting bold strategic objectives that can only be achieved through close working with partner organisations who share the same commitment, purpose and vision for the Broads.

“Successfully achieving our objectives depends upon a shared commitment and a strong sense of purpose, for we achieve so much more when we work alongside each other. We look forward to working with our partners to make the plan a success.”

Lesley Robinson, CEO British Marine, said of the Plan:

“The Broads is an important inland waterway, home of successful tourism and boat building industries which make a huge contribution to the local economy. We are delighted to welcome the new Broads Plan and commit to working with the Authority to deliver its challenging ambitions.

“This new plan very much compliments the work of British Marine and programmes such as the ‘Clean Marina scheme’ and the ‘The Green Blue’, to ensure that we continue to improve our environmental credentials.”

NFU Regional Director Zoe Leach said:

“We welcome the plan’s ambition to improve this iconic landscape for the benefit of nature and agriculture. Broads’ farmers are uniquely placed to provide good food, while sympathetically managing the countryside and protecting the environment.

“The Broads faces major challenges due to climate change. We are committed to our net zero journey for farming, working alongside the Authority and partners, to continue to pioneer new sustainable forms of food production and land management in the Broads.”

Peter Simpson, CEO Anglian Water said:

“Anglian Water has a history stretching back 40 years in pioneering work with the Authority. Water quality and quantity are central to the management of this internationally-important landscape.

“Anglian Water is committed to its long-term support and implementation of the new Broads Plan.”

The Authority’s Members and officers look forward to working with its partners to make the plan a success.

To read the plan in its entirety, please visit:

Tuesday 15 November 2022