Available, for £1m: your own Norfolk Broad

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The Independent Online

Got a spare million and don't know what to do with it? You could buy your own Norfolk Broad. Very few of the Broads, those shallow East Anglian lakes formed by medieval peat diggers and now an attraction for boating enthusiasts, ever come on the property market, but now one is up for sale

Got a spare million and don't know what to do with it? You could buy your own Norfolk Broad.

Very few of the Broads, those shallow East Anglian lakes formed by medieval peat diggers and now an attraction for boating enthusiasts, ever come on the property market, but now one is up for sale.

Brundall Inner Broad, on the river Yare nearly five miles downstream of Norwich, is being advertised at an initial asking price of £875,000. According to the agents, Waterside Properties of Potter Heigham, Norfolk, the three-and-a-half acre broad, dotted with wooded islands, is "situated in an idyllic position, a place of unspoilt natural beauty and tranquillity", and its sale offers "a once in a lifetime opportunity".

For once this may not be just estate-agent speak. Andrea Kelly, conservation officer for the Broads Authority, says the sale of a broad is "absolutely a rare event". She said Brundall Inner Broad was "a beautiful, secluded place" and added: "If we had the money, we'd buy it."

The Norfolk and Suffolk Broads - now the area's official name - is a unique region of water, grazing marshes, fen and woodland which is home to some of the rarest plants and creatures in the UK. It is Britain's largest protected wetland, having similar status to a national park, and also one of Europe's most popular inland waterways. Once an essential transport network, today the waterways are used for recreation, attracting more than a million visitors a year.

The agents say that Brundall Inner Broad was formerly owned by Colin Chapman, the founder of Lotus cars, who had it dredged in the mid-1970s to improve the water quality. They add: "Studies have shown that this has led to a thriving population of fish with an abundance of roach and pike. This has been proved with record- size pike and other breeds of fish spotted in the waters of the Broad. Although it has not been fished seriously for years, this virtually untouched Broad could become the fishing haven of the Norfolk Broads."

Ms Kelly said: "It is probably a fair fishery."

The agents quote the current owner, Debbie Linder, as saying: "It supports a sensational variety of flora, fish, birds and wild animals mainly indigenous to the area. It is to me the most amazing ecological unit, an extraordinary diversity of nature.".

Ms Kelly said: "We would rate the ecosystem as class B. But there is the potential to deliver a really pristine ecosystem, and if the new owner wanted to work with us to do so, we would be delighted."

Interested? Got that spare million? Sealed bids, please, by 26 July.

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