We can do more for nature when we work together! We've pulled together some great examples of how businesses, partners, supporters and individuals have helped us achieve even more for nature in 2018.

Helping everyone get closer to nature at RSPB Pagham Harbour

RSPB Pagham Harbour is nestled just on the coastline below Chichester, West Sussex. Its coastal location, combined with wide open farmland, a maze of reedbed, saltmarsh and mudflats make it one of our most diverse nature reserves, but also one of Sussex best kept secrets.

Now, thanks to support from funders including the Heritage Lottery Fund, Sussex Ornithological Society and the Friends of Pagham Harbour, improved facilities have been installed - including a newly-elevated wildlife-watching hide. Along with improved disability access, the hide now leaves you spoiled for choice when it comes to wildlife! Users can either enjoy the view over Sussex Wildlife Trust’s wetland from the front, or the brand new pond and bird feeding station that is visible from the rear.

RSPB Pagham Harbour has also recently completed a major face-lift to the Discovery Zone – with thanks to the Friends of Pagham Harbour and the Heritage Lottery Fund. Visitors can now enjoy the re-built dipping pond for children which boasts two platforms for wheelchair access. Teams of corporate and Pagham’s own volunteers have sown a wild flower meadow and have just finished a bee bank which was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. The Friends of Pagham Harbour (who have raised and donated over £35,000 to RSPB Pagham Harbour over the past two years) have also contributed an outdoor classroom shelter complete with bug hotels and other educational features. The shelter also captures rainwater that keeps the dipping pond full!The new accessible Ferry Hide

This enhanced Discovery Zone allows the RSPB staff and volunteers to expand on the educational events programme they offer, making the site an even better destination for local schools and families. Reconnecting children to nature is vitally important for both children’s development and helps to inspire the conservationists of the future, making centres such as the one at RSPB Pagham Harbour invaluable.

“Our reserves are not just places for nature, they are places for the whole community to discover and enjoy. RSPB Pagham Harbour is a living classroom, and with support from local funders and National Lottery players through the Heritage Lottery Fund we hope to educate and inspire people of all ages to care for the wildlife around them.” Nic Scothern, RSPB Regional Director.

The reserve, which is free to visit, is home to many rare species including breeding little terns, avocet and peregrines. Seals have been spotted in the harbour and it is considered one of the best sites to spot birds on migration in Sussex. Self-led discovery trails have been developed to encourage visitors to explore the wider reserve and discover the varied wildlife and heritage of the site. For those looking for family-friendly activities that are educational for all ages, RSPB Pagham Harbour also offers a range of hands-on activities and events all year round, giving every single visitor the opportunity to get closer to wildlife when they visit.

We would also like to thank Bruce Wake Charitable Trust, Hall Hunter Charitable Trust, Mrs Mary EA Watkinson, Mrs MJ Crawshaw, The Violet Flanagan Charitable Trust, The John Coates Charitable Trust, The Bassil Shippam and Alsford Trust, The Steven Bloch Image of Disability Charitable Trust, The Patricia Routledge Charitable Trust and all the donors who supported the Friends of Pagham Harbour ‘Buy a Plank’ initiative for their continued support of our work!

For more info about our events and the reserve visit RSPB Pagham Harbour.

Learning through wild play at RSPB Pulborough Brooks

Another reserve that has benefitted from improvements this year is RSPB Pulborough Brooks  The reserve has always been great for wild families, but now, after working with Sussex-based, Playsafe Playgrounds Ltd, the reserve has installed state-of-the-art wild play equipment. Learning through play is an important part of child development, and we are keen to ensure that all children have a safe space in which to get outside and play in nature.

The new play equipment includes balance beams and ropes, a clambering wall, a swinging hammock and more. Made from natural materials where possible, the structure has been designed for all ages and capabilities, including those with limited mobility. The path to the play area has also been resurfaced and is now fully accessible.new playground equipment

The playground project was funded by LEADER, an EU-funded rural grant programme designed to support local businesses as part of the Rural Development Programme for England and the Postcode Local Trust, which is supported by players of the People’s Postcode Lottery.

For families looking for family fun throughout the year, RSPB Pulborough Brooks also offers a range of hands-on activities and events all year round, giving every young person the opportunity to get closer to wildlife when they visit. Our herd of Longhorn cattle, which graze the reserve are always popular with families too but these magnificent beasts need to be watched from a safe distance! We are grateful to Sussex Lund who donated £10K to Pulborough last year, to upgrade the cattle handling facilities.

For  more info about our events and the reserve visit RSPB Pulborough Brooks or watch this short film!