About The Broads Society

A friend of the Broads since 1956

The Broads Society has been providing a unique focus for everyone interested in the Norfolk & Suffolk Broads for well over fifty years. Members come from a wide range of interests, navigators, naturalists, farmers, fishermen, and visitors alike.  Today, with over a thousand members we continue  to help stimulate public appreciation and knowledge of this special area.

We are keenly independent and our interest lies in the protection and understanding of this special area with its exceptionally important landscape and ecology. Many of our members have a great depth of knowledge about the Broads, this helps us make qualified contributions to many different and ongoing concerns.  We monitor environmental pressures,  planning applications and developments.  We discus and respond to these important issues. We also respond to government consultation and make recommendations for improving  facilities available for navigation on the rivers and Broads. In this way we  continue to work independently helping to safeguard this beautiful and much loved area.  We are keen to promote  awareness of the region’s special features among younger people and are presntly engaged in a film making project with school children from around the area.

Members, who have come to love the area, know that by  joining the Broads Society  they will be kept informed, entertained and educated about the Broads.  Our quarterly magazine ‘Harnser’ gives members  the opportunity to read and discuss issues and they are also able to contribute to this respected magazine. Harnser is the old Norfolk name for a heron, and our quarterly magazine continues to keep members up-to-date with changes and developments in Broadland. It contains articles about how the region was used and enjoyed in the past, as well as topical information about our activities, including forthcoming social events. We also run a fund-raising venture, called the 500 Club.

While remaining an independent charity, we sometimes work closely with the Broads Authority, acting as its ‘critical friend’  We are represented on its Broads Forum. Many of our activities complement those of the Authority. For instance, our volunteer labour force, known as ‘Broadsword’, is actively engaged in clearing back the trees and bushes which  grow along the water’s edge.  This improves the sailing conditions along the rivers while ensuring that the banks can be recolonised by reed-swamp.  This helps to protect  banks against erosion caused by waves generated by wind and passing craft.

Social events which we have organised in the past  have catered for a wide variety of our members interests, including guided walks and boat trips around sites of special interest. In 1993, the Society also pioneered an annual environmentally-friendly boating event, known as “Silent Sensation”, where the emphasis is on non-polluting craft powered by oar, sail and electricity. This has developed into “The Green Boat Show”.