Amazing £750k cash boost for Druridge Bay

At a time when conserving the environment has never been more important, DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs) and the National Lottery Heritage Fund’s Species Survival Fund have awarded £750,000 to Northumberland Wildlife Trust.
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The Biodiversity Boost:A Journey to a Wilder Druridge project will restore habitats, enhance biodiversity, and improve access on the wildlife charity’s reserves at Druridge Bay including Hauxley, West Chevington, and East Chevington.

Specific actions include improving reed beds and restructuring woodland areas at its East Chevington reserve, while at the West Chevington site, arable fields will be converted into species-rich grassland, and watercourses will be realigned to improve water quality downstream. Footpaths and bridleways will be reopened and upgraded for accessibility.

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At the Hauxley reserve, new facilities including a traditional wildlife hide, live wildlife cameras, and a new meadow will enhance visitor engagement.

Aerial shot of Hauxley nature reserve.Aerial shot of Hauxley nature reserve.
Aerial shot of Hauxley nature reserve.

The team at the Hauxley Wildlife Discovery Centre will oversee the project, co-ordinate surveys and volunteering with support from partner organisations Eco North and Flexigraze. Northumberland Zoo will also benefit from a wildlife hide.

Overall, the project, which covers approximately 500 hectares, aims to create sustainable habitats, inform the public, promote wildlife conservation and create resilience to climate change.

The initiative will retain two experienced conservation posts and create opportunities for two new trainees.

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Catherine Kirkham, Northumberland Wildlife Trust Fundraising Manager said: “Druridge Bay is an absolute gem on the Northumberland coastline and this amazing £750k cash boost from DEFRA and the National Lottery Heritage Fund will ensure it shines even brighter.

“The funding will make a huge difference to the future sustainable and long-term development of our Hauxley and East and West Chevington sites. The re-opening of the footpaths and bridleways will also ensure an even more enjoyable experience for everybody visiting the site.

“The funding will enable us to work closely with our partners including Northumberland Zoo who are set to benefit from a new wildlife watching hide which will open a whole new world to members of the public.”

Eilish McGuinness, Chief Executive, The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Defra again to distribute funding for these projects, which will support nature recovery by helping to boost the quality and quantity of wildlife-rich habitats across England. This partnership will further our vision for heritage to be valued, cared for and sustained for everyone, now and in the future.”

Environment Minister, Rebecca Pow, said:

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“The funding awarded today as part our flagship Species Survival Fund will enable local authorities, landowners, farmers, and our protected landscapes organisations to restore nature at scale and provide valuable green jobs in the process.

“Only by creating bigger and better habitats for wildlife will we be able to halt the alarming decline in species loss. This fund will be a key plank in achieving our legally binding targets to halt species loss and protect 30% land for nature by 2030.”

The Species Survival Fund is delivered by The National Lottery Heritage Fund in partnership with Natural England and the Environment Agency.

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