Reed Cutting as a Sustainable, Local Trade

Reed cutting is a trade that has been established in Norfolk for generations, and is a good example of an environmentally sustainable industry.

Cley Marshes
  • The reed grows naturally without the need for any artificial fertilizers or pesticides.
  • The cutting of reed every year or every two years actually creates a stronger crop. This regular management prevents the encroachment of scrub woodland and helps maintain the much valued ‘open landscape’ of the North Norfolk coast and The Broads.
  • Reed cutting helps to preserve the reed beds as an important wildlife habitat.
  • The reeds grow on marshland which would otherwise have low commercial value.
  • Locally grown reed is used by the local thatching trade without the need for long-haul transport.
  • Reed cutting allows local people to earn a living from the land at a time when other forms of labour intensive agriculture have gone. This forms a solid contribution to the local economy.