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Improved pathway to provide greater access to nature

20 Acre Wood improvements Published on Monday, 26th September 2022

Twenty Acre Wood is the latest green space in Norwich to benefit from access improvement work.

With funding from the Greater Norwich Growth Board (GNGB), Norwich Fringe Project and Norwich City Council have resurfaced the 400-metre pathway through the woodland with low maintenance granite. This will significantly improve access for visitors with mobility difficulties, pushchairs or on bikes,

The improved path links Earlham Green Lane and the Larkman Estate to the wider West Earlham community.

South Norfolk Council Leader and Chair of the GNGB, John Fuller, said:

“I welcome the enhancement of public access to this woodland. The GNGB ensures that the development taxes paid by builders are spent to address the cumulative effects of growth and making open spaces more available is one of the best ways of doing this.”

Alan Waters, leader of Norwich City Council and member of the GNGB, said:

“The new path is another great example of our commitment to invest in Norwich’s wonderful green spaces and with the introduction of enhancements like these a more inclusive visitor experience is established.

“Path resurfacing also helps to protect natural habitats, flora and fauna, as users tend to stick to the path rather than veering off and walking on natural areas. It also means the route can be used throughout the year, even in the wetter months.”

Twenty Acre Wood is part of West Earlham Woods, which also includes Bunkers Hill, and was designated as a Local Nature Reserve (LNR) in 2017.

Noel Debbage from the Friends of West Earlham, said:

“The woods are a great place for walking, relaxing, forest bathing, dog walking, and making dens.

“Wildlife such as deer, bats and small woodland creatures can be spotted throughout the year and the natural space offers acres of mature trees such as grizzled Oaks, stately Chestnuts, towering Scots Pine, and fine Beeches.

“The wood is a different world to the one we live in most of the time, an archipelago of shade and peace right on your doorstep, waiting to be explored and now much more accessible via the new path.”

The project was delivered by local contractors GT Rochester and work was completed in August.

This follows other successful access improvement projects funded by the GNGB, such as the recent work on the Yare Valley Walk which was completed July 2022.

Additional information

About the Greater Norwich Growth Board

The Greater Norwich Growth Board is a partnership comprising Broadland District, Norwich City, South Norfolk and Norfolk County Councils together with the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP). The Partners have established the GNGB in order to work together, delivering homes, jobs and infrastructure in the area. As part of this remit, the GNGB provides strategic direction, monitoring and co-ordination of the Greater Norwich City Deal and the wider growth programme for the Greater Norwich area.

Norwich Fringe Project

Established in 1991 the Norwich Fringe Project is a local authority funded countryside management partnership, working with volunteers, local communities and parish councils to look after the countryside around Norwich. NFP provide a full countryside management service, looking after a range of habitats and sites including woodlands, meadows, marshes, heathlands and ponds.

Norwich Fringe Project is financially supported by funding partners Norwich City Council and Broadland and South Norfolk District Council.

Friends of West Earlham Woods

In 2017, West Earlham Woods, which is made up of Bunkers Hill and Twenty Acre Wood, was designated as a local nature reserve (LNR). The status offers strong legal protection to sites and the wildlife they contain and help to raise their profile.

The status was granted by the city council’s cabinet following the passionate proposals of local group, Friends of West Earlham Woods.

Friends of West Earlham Woods are a group of local volunteers who organise volunteer days and events in Bunkers Hill and Twenty Acre Wood, to find out more about how you can get involved email friendsofwestearlhamwoods@gmail.com