Landscape and wildlife

Design of moorings should be appropriate to the location and reflect and complement the character of the area.

Whether it is rural, urban, near a heritage site or part of a conservation area. You can get free advice from the Broads Authority if you are unsure about how to achieve the right design for your location. You also need to carefully consider the effect of your mooring on wildlife and the environment. The impact of any work, both short and long term, must be minimal.


Length of mooring

You might not need the whole frontage to be designed for moorings or part of it could be left natural with some other form of bank stabilisation. Natural frontage can save you money as well as benefiting the local landscape and wildlife in your area. It would also enable other river users to appreciate the scenery of the Broads. Retaining the natural bank edge helps to protect local wildlife such as water voles, nesting birds and fish. Please contact us for free advice about whether natural frontage is appropriate as part of your mooring.


Any length of piled mooring will need to be returned to the bank, meaning the ends are directed in to the bank. Introducing hard piled bank edges could lead to the erosion of natural edges in some areas. Returning them to the bank stops water getting behind and causing pockets of erosion.

Lighting, electricity and infrastructure

The impact of artificial light on local amenity and intrinsically dark landscapes and nature conservation should be minimised so please talk to planning officers about any fixed lighting or electric hook ups. You should also seek professional advice about any safety issues with electricity close to water.

Parking, lockers and other associated infrastructure should be sensitively located to take account of the local character of the site.


Areas of old, rotten, abandoned moorings detract from the special qualities of the Broads. Anyone installing mooring must also ensure it’s maintained during its life and replaced when necessary. This may mean cleaning, replacing timber work and also dredging to maintain adequate mooring depth.

Wildlife and protected species

The Broads is an internationally important wetland and home to more than a quarter of the UK’s rarest species.

The Broads supports internationally important wildlife and habitats. Within the Broads are the Broads Special Area of Conservation (SAC), Broadland Special Protection Area (SPA) and Broads Ramsar site.

These sites are underpinned at a national level by 28 Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) covering 24% of the executive area. You will need written consent from Natural England for any proposed works that may impact a protected site. In some cases an appropriate assessment may be required under the Habitat Regulations to demonstrate that there will be no adverse impacts on the integrity of the protected site.

Protected species under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 may occupy the proposed site. These include otter, water vole, breeding birds and reptiles. If you find a protected species, you must stop work immediately and contact Natural England.

Where bank protection options can enhance or create increased space for wildlife they should be explored. Provision of a bank edge with native wetland plant species is one of the best ways to encourage wildlife at the water’s edge.

Any impacts to fish spawning areas will also need to be considered as part of the proposal.

You can contact the Broads Authority ecologist for advice.

Heritage and Archaeology

Heritage is a finite resource so care should be taken throughout the design process to ensure that the physical and visual impact on built heritage and archaeology is minimised.

The entire Broads is a site of exceptional waterlogged archaeology. This means there is potential for important discoveries during the course of carrying out work and you should be aware that archaeology may be uncovered. If planning permission is required it may be subject to an archaeological condition.

Early advice should be sought from the Authority. Consulting the relevant Historic Environment record early in the process will indicate any known heritage assets and help assess the likelihood of potential archaeology.