Knight Frank and Brown & Co have launched one of the most significant parts of the Norfolk Broads to the market at a guide price of £2.3million. The Hickling Broad Estate is part of a world-renowned nature and conservation reserve, and spans about 654.73 acres, comprising extensive wetland, as well as a let amenity and commercial portfolio.
The Hickling Broad Estate is located at the northern end of the Norfolk Broads’ network. The Broads are the UK’s largest nationally protected wetlands and were added to the National Park Family in 1989. The Broads, originally created by man digging for peat, are a haven for over a quarter of Britain’s rarest species of wildlife and are also an extremely important tourist destination. It is estimated that the area receives 8 million visitors per year with an annual tourism economic impact of approximately £568 million.
Hickling Broad is a key facet of the wider network and now presents a very rare and exciting investment opportunity. The Broad is designated as a National Nature Reserve (NNR), a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), a Special Protection Area (SPA) as well as being a Ramsar site. The reserve and its surroundings host some of Britain’s rarest wildlife, including a substantial proportion of the United Kingdom’s common crane population, as well as hundreds of other bird species, deer, otters, hares and foxes (see below for a full list of species found on the Hickling Estate).
The property is for sale as a whole or in five lots. The main Broad area (Lot 1) and the immediately surrounding land is currently let to The Norfolk Wildlife Trust, who have sensitively managed and maintained the area, undertaking significant capital work during their occupation of the site.
George Bramley, Partner at Knight Frank and handling the sale, commented:
“The owners have pursued a conservative and traditional policy of management, and have as a result, retained the charm and timelessness which makes Hickling Broad and its surrounding area such a unique place. I expect the estate to appeal to both international and UK buyers, and to generate interest from a wide range of purchasers, including private individuals, the leisure and tourism industry and conservation bodies.”
Anne Barker, Partner at Brown & Co, said:
“The estate sale presents the opportunity to acquire a unique area of the Norfolk landscape which has been in the same family ownership since the early 19th century. The scope to build on the leisure and tourism potential whilst enjoying the exceptional wildlife and conservation attributes make it a truly exciting prospect.”
The estate includes the focal point Broad area, spanning 588.69 acres, including water, extensive reed bed, wetland and marsh, grassland, fen and woodland and the let commercial portfolio. The commercial element of the Broad produces an income in excess of £50,000 per year and comprises the central boatyard, the site of Hickling’s popular sailing club, a thatched two-bedroom cottage, 16 boathouses and numerous moorings. The estate also includes the Hickling Windsurfing Beach and four holiday lodges.