The Broads Landscape Partnership has received an earmarked grant of £2.6m from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) through its Landscape Partnership (LP) programme for the Water, Mills and Marshes project.

The project aims to enrich and promote heritage sites in the area between Norwich, Great Yarmouth, Lowestoft, Acle and Loddon, unlock the benefits of this distinctive landscape for local people and give them the skills to protect it as a legacy for future generations.

Development funding of £226,000 has also been awarded to help the partnership progress its plans to apply for a full grant at a later date. Work on the development phase will begin this year while the second round is scheduled for 2017. Fifty-five organisations, including Norfolk FWAG, will then be involved in implementing 38 individual projects over a five-year delivery phase. The project will be worth a total of £4.5m including match funding.

The scheme will see people from all walks of life and ages from urban and rural areas understanding, benefitting from and enjoying the special landscape of the Broads and, through capturing stories from older generations and training younger people in heritage skills, will ensure that it is enjoyed for the future.

Iconic drainage mills on Halvergate marshes, an area which boasts one of the greatest concentrations in Europe, will be documented and renovated through a Heritage Construction Skills training scheme.

Local people’s access to, and appreciation of, activities within their landscape will improve through activity point at each of the urban hubs, improved interpretation and information throughout the area and through initiatives like Youth Ranger schemes and special celebrations.

The project will also explore potential archaeological sites and recreate the skills required in the reconstruction of the medieval Chet boat.

The Broads National Park is a mosaic of land and water shaped by people over centuries through their interaction with it for work and recreation and as a result is rich in unique and important built and natural heritage as well as hidden archaeology. It is also home to more than a quarter of the nation’s rarest species, despite occupying less than 0.1% of the UK.