An artists's impression of the proposed visitor facilities for Lady Anne's Drive

Planning & Development

Lady Anne's Drive Visitor Facilities

Holkham National Nature Reserve was designated in 1967 due to the range of habitats and wildlife it supports. Much of the reserve is former saltmarsh that had been reclaimed by the Coke family since the mid-17th century for grazing sheep and cattle. Today the grazing marshes are nationally important for wintering wildfowl and breeding birds such as Lapwing, Avocet and Spoonbill.

There can be few people who have not been moved by the sheer scale and beauty of the beach and the wide variety of wildlife found on the reserve but the lack of lavatories has been a major source of dissatisfaction for the 800,000 people who come to the reserve each year.

In 2012 the estate appointed architects Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios (FCBS) to work on plans for a visitor centre that would provide lavatories as well as a shelter for schools and a modest refreshment facility. FCBS are one of the leading practices in the UK and are noted for their commitment to sustainable architecture. In 2008 FCBS won the Stirling Prize which is widely regarded as the highest accolade in architecture.

Planning permission was granted in December 2015 for the new facility and the estate is now working with a team of local architects and engineers on the final details. Whilst these are being finalised, Robson Construction Ltd will be starting on site on Monday 8th May to install the various services down Lady Anne’s Drive that will be needed for the operation of the new visitor facilities. Completion date is set for late summer 2018.

Project Progress Diary

11th September 2017 – Construction work commenced.

22nd November 2017 – The mound has now been formed and all concrete piling complete. The scrapes have been established and early in the new year the structure will start to become visible.

6th April 2018 – Steel frame of the building is now complete and the wooden curved plates for the exterior shell are being constructed ready to be installed this month.

1st May 2018 - Steel work now fully complete and timber frame now being installed.

1st May 2018 - Steel work now fully complete and timber frame being installed.