A portrait of Mark Smart Site Manager RSPB, Halvergate Marshes Photographed in 2019 on Halvergate Marshes and spoken in his own words.
“Effectively the RSPB reserve is around 600 hectares, it’s wet grassland and sits within a stunning landscape that is around 3500 hectares in size.We’re a relatively small chunk of land within a much larger landscape.The main reason the reserve is here, is for wintering waterfowl and also breeding waders. On a good year we can get 110,000 wintering waterfowl, which includes lapwing, golden plover and pink footed geese.
e are internationally important, in fact we are in the top five of the most important estuaries of the UK, which most people don’t expect within the Norfolk Broads National Park.We are doing a lot science here, trying to understand how we can get these birds back into the wider landscape. We work with numerous landowners, wetting the areas but still enabling commercial activities to take place.
It’s important to keep that balance.My Background, before joining the RSPB was farming. I spent over 10 years fixing and driving tractors, but I had also been heavily involved with conservation, volunteering with local conservation groups, that was my passion. When redundancy came along, it was a chance to do something new and work in the industry I was passionate about. If I were to leave a legacy, it would be that I would want to see a lot more areas containing a few pairs of breeding waders”#norfolk#norwich#broadsnationalpark#rspb#birds#sitemanagement#conservation#farming#greatyarmouth#portrait