Wendling Beck

Project Summary

The Wendling Beck Exemplar Project is a habitat creation, nature restoration and regenerative farming project, spanning almost 2,000 acres of land north of the market town of Dereham in Norfolk.

The project is a collaboration between private landowners, local authorities, environmental NGOs, and Anglian Water. It aims to transform land use for environmental benefit, whilst also building community and environmental resilience and is looking to sell multiple ecosystem services; biodiversity net gain (BNG), nutrient neutrality (NN) and natural flood management (NFM), in addition to longer-term revenue streams from above and below ground carbon.

There will also be a significant reduction in operational carbon due to the change of farming systems and the subsequent reduction in synthetic fertilisers, fossil fuels and agro-chemicals. (From 2020 to 2022, the bulk of the farmed area reduced both nitrogen and chemical inputs by approximately 50% and pretty much stopped applying synthetic phosphate).

A range of habitats are already being created including around 65 acres of lowland heath, 15 acres of parkland, 80 acres of species-rich lowland meadow, 6 acres of 6 acres of floodplain wetland mosaic, 2 acres of wet woodland, 600 metres of rare chalk stream creation. Some 7km of new fencing and 2km of new water infrastructure have been installed – to enable livestock to manage the new habitats.