Norfolk Archaeological Trust (NAT) is a small local charity which owns or manages 11 important places in Norfolk, including Burgh Castle Fort. We work with local communities to save Norfolk’s irreplaceable historic sites and to share them with everyone.
With the help of National Heritage Lottery Funding, NAT recently completed a review of our work and produced a new Strategic Plan for 2020-2025. External consultants recommended that car park charges should be one of the ways NAT raises funds for our work in the future. Following on from our extensive public consultation in Burgh Castle earlier this year, regarding our proposals for introducing car parking charges, we have now applied for planning permission & advertisement consent for the installation of a parking machine, ANPR camera and associated works at Burgh Castle Fort.
Currently, almost 60% of our income comes from farm payments: the Basic Payment Scheme, and agri-environmental schemes which support wildlife-friendly management. At Burgh Castle Fort in 2016 a mandatory transfer from the previous scheme (HLS), to a mid-tier Countryside Stewardship Scheme (CSS), produced a reduction in annual income from £6,162 to £2,748, and this has already had an impact on the level of repair and maintenance we can complete each year. The current schemes are being phased out and will be replaced by a new scheme (ELMS) which will provide public money for public goods from 2024. NAT will be well-placed to apply for this funding, but it is expected that payments will not be as high. This means that from 2021 our income will be reduced further while our costs will stay the same or increase.
NAT’s Director, Natalie Butler also explains: “We think that introducing better car park management at the Fort site will also bring benefits to the local community. The last few months have seen some difficult challenges at the Burgh Castle Fort site, with anti-social behaviour, criminal damage, an escalation of fly-tipping and littering, and visitors’ cars occupying the car park long after it should officially have been closed. We think that our plans for managing the Fort car park will reduce these issues and provide a safer site for local people.”
The strategic plan can be viewed at Policies | Norfolk Archaeological Trust (norfarchtrust.org.uk).