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History of the Broads Society

In Brief

Our journey began in 1956, advocating for the Broads and achieving significant milestones, like the special protection status granted in 1988 akin to a National Park. Today, with around 1200 members, the Broads Society remains a testament to the enduring love and commitment to this region. We've evolved to meet modern challenges while staying true to our roots, reflecting the dynamic and resilient spirit of our organization.

In Detail : A Legacy of Love and Preservation for the Broads

The Genesis and Growth (1956 - 1980s)

Our story began with the inception of The Broads Society in 1956 when Len Ramuz marked the beginning of a unified effort to preserve this unique area. Ramuz, a sailor and entrepreneur, recognised the diverse interests in the Broads – from family holidays, wildlife enthusiasts, to sailing and fishing aficionados – and sought to unite these passions. The inaugural meeting at the Norfolk Broads Yacht Club laid the foundation for a society open to all, regardless of their interests in the Broads.

The Society's membership, initially slow to grow, soon flourished, attracting a wide range of individuals. Notable founding members included naturalist Ted Ellis and holiday agency magnate James Hoseason. The Society aimed to foster appreciation for Broadland in partnership with various stakeholders. By the 1990s, membership swelled to nearly 2,000, underscoring the Society's increasing influence and reach.

Potter Heigham Bridge
A Milestone Achievement (1988)

This relentless dedication bore fruit in 1988, a landmark year in our history. The Norfolk and Suffolk Broads were granted special protection, a status akin to that of a National Park, following the passing of the Norfolk & Suffolk Broads Act 1988. This achievement was not just a victory for the Society but a triumph for the community and the environment.

Join us on field visits
The Evolving Society (1990s - Present)

Since then, the Broads Society has continued to evolve, adapting to the changing needs of the environment and the community. Today, with a membership of about 1200 individuals, we stand as guardians of the Broads, monitoring environmental pressures and contributing insightful commentary on planning applications.

Broads Society Calender
Conservation Efforts and Broadsword Volunteers

A noteworthy aspect of our history is the establishment of the "Broadsword" volunteers. These dedicated individuals work tirelessly, especially during the winter months, clearing trees and scrub from riverbanks. This not only improves sailing conditions but also encourages the re-colonization of banks by reedswamp, helping to maintain the unique environment found in Broadland.

Joint Ownership and Heritage Preservation

In a significant step towards conservation, the Society also became a joint owner of the Eel Sett at Candle Dyke, marking our commitment to preserving both the natural and cultural heritage of the East of England.

Eel Fisherman
Forward, with Purpose

Our history is a testament to our enduring commitment: to ensure a sustainable future for the Broads as a unique and protected landscape where leisure, tourism, and the local economy can harmoniously coexist with the natural environment. As we look to the future, we continue to draw inspiration from our past, remaining steadfast in our mission and our role as custodians of this cherished landscape.

Help Us to continue this vital work in the Broads by becoming a member today 

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