The Rockland Wildfowlers Association (RWA) recently received a loan of £217,000 from the Wildlife Habitat Trust (WHT) towards the purchase of 58.9 acres of land at Loades Marsh, Rockland St Mary, in Norfolk.

The loan is the largest ever made by the WHT. Tim Russell, secretary of WHT and director of conservation at BASC, said: “The WHT is pleased to be able to make this loan to Rockland Wildfowlers. The purchase of land at Loades Marsh is important for wildlife habitat preservation and Rockland Wildfowlers will manage the land for shooting and conservation.” To date, the WHT has provided more than £1.3million to conservation projects.

Rockland Wildfowlers club land secretary Kevin Tipple said:“The purchase of land around Rockland Broad achieves an ambition which the club has held since it formed in 1985, and secures the future of the land for shooting and conservation. The WHT has again helped us, and its support is crucial to our goal of securing land by ownership. The club bought its first land at Haddiscoe in 2008, with help from the WHT and the Dee Wildfowlers and Wetlands Management Club (DWWMC); it has raised funds in many ways, from an online auction to the sale of prints and badges. The WHT has continued to support the club’s work and we appreciate its interest.”

In 2001, the club started a land fund, to which 10 per cent of subscriptions were allocated. The RWA bought its second piece of land in 2009 at Rockland St Mary, again with help from DWWMC and the WHT. The club has improved Rockland Marsh by creating scrapes and topping as well as weed wiping. At Rockland St Mary, where the RWA owns 10 acres of wood, a flightpond has been restored, scrub has been cleared and two barn owl boxes have been installed, where several broods of barn owls have been reared. Currently the club has more than 60 members, including five juniors.

The rest of this article appears in the 20th March issue of Shooting Times.

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