Volunteers from Morpeth Coca-Cola factory help bird hide project at rural site

Workers at the Coca-Cola Europacific Partners (CCEP) site in Morpeth have come together with other volunteers to complete a wildlife initiative west of the town.

By Andrew Coulson
Thursday, 4th August 2022, 6:21 pm

Fifty volunteers in total have constructed a bird hide at Middleton North, located between Hartburn and Scots Gap, and the group from CCEP also included members of the regional field sales team based in the area.

The new facility is near sixteen new wetlands on the River Wansbeck, which have been created as part of The Coca-Cola Foundation’s Replenish programme in partnership with The Rivers Trust, and for this scheme the team worked with Northumberland Rivers Trust.

It is now officially open to the public, allowing local residents to observe the birds and wildlife making the wetlands their home. Volunteers have also helped to create owl and dipper boxes, which have been installed throughout the wetlands.

Some of the volunteers outside the bird hide.

Seamus Kerrigan, operations director at CCEP in Morpeth, said: “We know we have a responsibility to turn the resources of a big business like ours into something good.

“It means a lot to so many of us that we’re able to use our volunteering days as a team to bring valuable local conversation projects to life, so that we can have a positive impact on the local wildlife and community.”

Charlie Bennett, landowner at Middleton North, added: “This partnership has brought together so many people to create something that the whole community can enjoy.

“With the support of CCEP in building this fantastic bird hide, more local people – including school kids – will make the trip here to enjoy the wildlife already making its home on our new wetlands.”

Some of the volunteers inside and next to the bird hide.

Collaboration has been key to the success of conservation projects delivered by the Northumberland Rivers Trust, with the charity working closely with local farmers and landowners, community groups and businesses.

Its team has planted 6,000 trees to date, as well as an extra 1,000 willow whips in Morpeth’s flood plain area, with plans to plant a further 3,000 this winter.

Peter Kerr, from Northumberland Rivers Trust, said: “The wider wetlands project is also a major step forward to supporting water stewardship and carbon sequestration in our catchment.”

To visit the hide, please email Mr Bennett – [email protected]