Crowdfunding appeal to repair storm damage at nature reserve raises £15,000 - but still a long way to go
- Credit: Ian Burt
A crowdfunding appeal to help repair storm damage at one of the country's best-loved nature reserves has raised nearly £15,000 - but there is still a long way to go before the total amount needed is raised.
The RSPB launched a crowdfunding appeal to rebuild wildlife hides that were lost in the 2013 storm surge at RSPB Snettisham nature reserve, which is home to tens of thousands of birds and is an important site for wading birds and wildfowl.
In total, 366 people supported the appeal through the Crowdfunder website, with others sending cheques and contributing to collection buckets.
A total of £14,801 was raised - but £120,000 in total is needed for the project.
RSPB project manager Hayley Roan said: 'Snettisham is a very special place and we want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has contributed to help us build a new hide which will protect wildlife from disturbance, showcase amazing spectacles and, we hope, inspire future generations with the sights and sounds of The Wash.
'The money we have raised through our first ever crowdfunding appeal in Eastern England is a great start to raising the £120,000 needed to build the hide and stands us in great stead to seek the remaining funding needed to enable us to build the hide.'
The conservation charity offered rewards in exchange for a donation to the appeal.
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More than 290 supporters claimed one of the exclusive rewards donated to the appeal by individuals and businesses, including wildlife watercolours donated by the artist, limited edition prints, and books signed by the authors.
Site manager Jim Scott said: 'The new hide at Snettisham will help people to experience the knot displays and other wildlife spectacles of The Wash after two hides were lost to the sea in a storm surge in 2013.
'The devastating tidal surge in December 2013 left a trail of destruction along the Norfolk coastline and at many coastal nature reserves.
'The surge completely wiped out two of the hides at Snettisham, there was extensive damage done to the sea banks and lagoons and most of the footpaths were totally washed away.
'Every year thousands of people from around the country travel to Snettisham to witness the aerial displays of the tens of thousands of birds attracted to The Wash by the abundance of food in the mud.
'Since 2013 though, they have had to do so without the two hides lost during the storm surge.
'This appeal will make a huge difference to our visitors, making it even better and inspiring more people, especially the younger generation, with the amazing wildlife of this special place.'