As one of the UK’s 15 national parks, the Broads’ beautiful landscape, diverse wildlife and important cultural heritage are all protected – making sure they can be enjoyed for many years to come.
National Parks are designated for their unique landscape, wildlife and culture. Each park has its own special characteristics and the Broads is no exception.
The Broads was originally dug out in medieval times to provide peat for fuel. In the 14th century, these peat diggings flooded, creating the beautiful waterways we see today.
By the 19th century, the rich boating heritage of these waterways made them an obvious destination for those who enjoyed the increasingly popular pastime of pleasure boating. Today, the Broads is Britain’s third largest inland navigation area and the beauty and tranquillity of its lakes and landscapes attracts around eight million visitors every year.
The Broads is also home to a huge variety of the rarest wildlife - greater than any other national park in Britain - and has become a ‘must-see’ for nature lovers.
Our stunning landscape is home to more than a quarter of the rarest species in the country, including several that are unique to the area. Britain’s largest butterfly, The Swallowtail, and the Norfolk hawker dragonfly are found only here.
With 25 percent of the park receiving international designation for its biodiversity, nine national nature reserves and 28 sites of specific scientific interest, conservation of the Broads is incredibly important to the biodiversity of the UK. In fact it is Britain’s largest protected wetland.
The Broads Authority has the same two purposes of conservation and recreation as the English national parks plus the purpose of looking after the navigation
Find out how the Broads Authority keeps the national park special for visitors, wildlife, boaters and its community