The Norfolk Wildlife Trust has announced that it intends to introduce charges for car parking at the Cley and Salthouse Marshes reserves. The funds raised will go towards management costs and to “balance the conservation needs of the nature reserve with use of the site by visitors.”
The Trust has made an application to the NNDC for permission to install pay and display machines and the necessary signage at the car parks of the Cley visitor centre and Cley beach. If the application is approved the machines should be installed and operating by Easter.
Parking charges will only apply between 10am and 5pm and the following categories of visitors will not have to pay.
- Cley and Salthouse residents
- Members of the Trust
- Non-members that pay to enter the reserve
- Non-members attending a paid for event
- Holders of a Blue Badge
Pamela Abbott, the chief executive of the Trust stated: “Our members and people who are visiting the nature reserve and those attending our events will continue to be able to park free of charge. The car park fee will contribute to the work required for the upkeep of car parks, footpaths and management of the reserve.”
(Enquiry I sent to the Trust)
In principle I agree with the introduction of charges for parking at the Centre and Cley beach, however, is there going to be any degree of enforcement or is this intended as just another form of charitable appeal? Will the machines (like the National Trust machines) just be honesty boxes? As an exception is made for local residents (does that include second-home owners?), something that will be impossible to police, I assume that will be the case. If no enforcement is intended I would prefer to see some honesty in the signage.
Response from the Trust to my enquiry.
The plan is for the parking scheme to be administered by the Trust and not by a third party. It will be monitored by staff as an extension to the staffing system we already had in place for the beach car park (with this role also developing a greater aspect of engagement rather than purely transactional). Non-compliance will be checked by these staff. Members and local residents will need to display a permit obtainable from the centre on proof of membership or residence. Local resident passes will be available for any residents (2nd home or otherwise) but not for properties rented out to 3rd parties.
Visitor Centre Manager
NWT Cley Marshes