Co-op shoppers deliver £5,000 windfall for Northumberland Wildlife Trust

Northumberland Wildlife Trust’s Catch My Drift project has received an early Christmas gift thanks to shoppers in Amble and Hadston.

Tuesday, 7th December 2021, 2:21 pm
Sophie Webster, Catch My Drift project officer (second left) with members of the Co-op Amble team. Credit: Co-op Amble.

A whopping £5,208 has been donated by customers of the Co-op stores via the Local Community Fund.

The money raised will be used to support the project’s community education programme and activities in local schools.

Each year the Co-op Group chooses a new list of local causes to support throughout the UK and this year the Catch My Drift project based on the East Chevington nature reserve was selected to receive member funds.

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The three-year Catch My Drift project, supported by The National Lottery Heritage Fund, is working towards protecting and reviving threatened habitats and providing refuge for different species on the 185-hectare site at Druridge Bay. It is also making access improvements to allow everyone the opportunity to experience nature.

Since starting in April 2019, the team has liaised with 15 local organisations including women’s institutes, Hadston House Youth and Community Projects and visited care homes including Heatherdale Care Home in Broomhil to reminisce with residents about life on the ‘The Drift’, as East Chevington Village was known.

Additionally, the project has recruited 50 volunteers who have clocked up 2,994 hours - recording almost 462 species including 283 new records.

Even following government guidelines on social distancing wasn’t an issue with the ever-resourceful team managing to continue with carefully planned practical conservation tasks including tree planting to boost the woodland to encourage a wider range of birds and flower planting to help pollinators.

Sophie Webster Catch My Drift project officer said: “What a great end to what started out as a year full of challenges with another UK lockdown and government restrictions.

“As a resident of the area, I know the Amble and Hadston Co-op stores are real hubs of the community and vital to people living in the area which is why it’s amazing that shoppers are helping us to bring our work in their community back again.”

She added: "So come on you Co-op supporters, join us at our events knowing that you helped to make them possible.”