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Official Opening of Sustead Common

Official Opening of DSustead Common - photo courtesy of Carol Gates

Yesterday morning, in warm sunshine, 50 visitors, supporters and helpers attended the Official Opening of Sustead Common and the permissive path which now joins the two sites.

On behalf of the trustees of Felbeck Trust, Trevor welcomed the guests, particularly Cllr Sue Arnold from NNDC, representing the Big Society Fund and to Phil & Carolyn Hall, representing Tasso Laventis, Patron of Felbeck Trust. He then said a few words of thanks to:

The National Trust and NNDC for the leases and licences to manage the Common for the benefit of wildlife and as a place for residents and visitors to enjoy.

The Big Society who gave Felbeck Trust a generous grant towards the costs of doing the work.

The Felbeck Trust volunteers who, so far, have dedicated over 500 hours of their time restoring the habitat and creating a valuable amenity.

Felbeck Trust partners - North East Norfolk Bird Club, Norfolk Rivers Trust, North Norfolk Work-out Group and Norwich Mens Shed, who support Felbeck Trust in delivering the Trusts wildlife objectives and to Environment Agency and Norfolk Wildlife Trust for their continuing advice and encouragement.

The people of Sustead for supporting the project from the outset and helping safeguard the Common as a home for wildlife into the future.

Trevor then took the opportunity to welcome Felbeck Trust’s latest partner - Aylmerton Field Study Centre who, together with supporting Felbeck Trust in their work will be using the Common as a place for the education and enjoyment of their young people - hopefully sparking the flame of young wildlife conservation enthusiasts for the future.

Speaking of the future brought Trevor on to make the days important announcement - recently Felbeck Trust had signed a management agreement with the owner for Spurrell’s Wood, the land immediately opposite. Five acres of wildlife-rich mixed woodland, constituting the largest portion of the former Common. He went on to explain that Felbeck Trust had also be given the opportunity to buy the site, thus bringing the whole area under one management, for the benefit of wildlife and as a place of peaceful enjoyment - safeguarding it for generations to come. The Trustees very much hope that those present, and more generally, would generously support this appeal - by donating via the website or emailing

Finally, Trevor invited Cllr Sue Arnold to say a few words and officially open the path. In her remarks Cllr Sue Arnold emphasised the role of Big Society in supporting small community projects like Sustead Common, the value of such projects in bringing people together - creating new friendships and, in the case of Sustead Common, restoring the site to become a safe haven for nature.

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