Volunteers go wild for lottery

The Hauxley volunteer wardens with Duncan Hutt (centre of photo) head of land management, Northumberland Wildlife Trust, photo Alex Lister.
The Hauxley volunteer wardens with Duncan Hutt (centre of photo) head of land management, Northumberland Wildlife Trust, photo Alex Lister.

VOLUNTEERS at a north Northumberland nature reserve continue to be funded by a charity lottery.

Northumberland Wildlife Trust’s Hauxley reserve is supported Monday to Friday, 52 weeks a year, by a small team of dedicated volunteer wardens, who, since the early 1980s, have carried out and recorded a daily bird count to establish a picture of bird populations throughout the Druridge Bay area.

The group is joined by the Druridge Bay Volunteer Team every alternate Friday to complete a variety of tasks around the reserve, all of which is made possible thanks to the players of the People’s Postcode Lottery.

From trimming hedges to keeping pathways clear of overhanging branches and painting hides, nothing is too big a task for the volunteers; ditches and ponds also need annual attention, and maintenance checks are carried out on nest boxes both before and after the birds nest.

Funding from the People’s Postcode Lottery pays for hand tools, bow saws, loppers and safety equipment including gloves and goggles all of which are needed by the volunteers.

Team members also staff the visitor centre, monitoring visitor numbers and providing them with information about wildlife watching opportunities in the area. In 2011, Hauxley was visited by over 11,700 people.

Northumberland Wildlife Trust estates officer Alex Lister said: “We are very lucky we have two fabulous teams of volunteers here at Druridge Bay, which coupled with the generous funding from the People’s Postcode Lottery makes my job a heck of a lot easier, so come on everybody get playing and spare me any grey hairs.”