East Chevington nature reserve’s project grant boost
A project to improve land and habitat for people and wildlife at Northumberland Wildlife Trust’s East Chevington nature reserve has been given a huge cash boost.
The popular wildlife attraction has received a grant of £7,744 from the Ventient Sisters North Steads Windfarm Community Benefit Fund at the Community Foundation, for its ‘Catch My Drift’ scheme.
The 185-hectare reserve on the site of a former drift mine contains lakes, ponds, reed beds, woodland, pasture and arable farming. It is also important to local people who use the site as an area for walking and access to the beach.
The Ventient Sisters North Steads Windfarm Community Benefit Fund allows community groups within a five kilometre radius of the windfarm to apply for funding of up to £10,000.
Northumberland Wildlife Trust’s Druridge Bay development manager, Elaine More, said: “Our East Chevington reserve is an amazing site for people and wildlife and now, thanks to the support from the Ventient Sisters North Steads Windfarm Community Benefit Fund, we will be able to involve local volunteers in the creation of a wildflower meadow on part of the site.”
Senior programme advisor at the Community Foundation, Pete Barrett, added: “Community benefit funds aim to enrich the lives of local people, and this project at East Chevington is fantastic example of this.”
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He further added: “We’d also like to encourage others to apply to the Ventient Sisters North Steads Windfarm Community Benefit Fund which re-opens for applications on 25 June on the Community Foundation website.”
The grant will enable the project team to turn a 4.2-hectare area of pasture at the southern end of the East Chevington reserve into a wonderful wildflower meadow.
Work, which will begin next month, will include the introduction of conservation grazing using Flexigraze livestock to manage the site, together with the installation of new fencing along the field’s southern boundary to contain them.
Local volunteers will be involved in sowing the area with wildflower seed this autumn and identifying wildflower species and surveying the site both before and after works have taken place to record how many species have become established.