RSPB launches 1-month appeal to rebuild Snettisham hide10 July – 7 August 2017 

This week has been a landmark one for The RSPB in the East as we launched our first ever crowdfunding appeal, starting the clock on a 28-day appeal during which we hope to raise the £120,000 needed to replace two wildlife hides at Snettisham nature reserve destroyed by coastal storms in 2013.

Wildlife TV presenter and RSPB Vice President Chris Packham has kindly leant his support to narrate a short volunteer-made appeal video, saying the new hide at Snettisham will “help inspire a whole new generation of nature lovers with the incredible sights and sounds of The Wash”.

If you haven't seen it yet, you can watch the video here (just click on the image below):

If you’ve ever been to RSPB Snettisham nature reserve, you’ll know it lies on the edge of the expansive tidal mudflats of The Wash – the UK’s largest estuarine habitat and its most important site for wading birds and wildfowl.

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.


Snettisham Site Manager Jim Scott sums up what we are trying to do and why:

“The devastating tidal surge in December 2013 left a trail of destruction along the Norfolk coastline and at our coastal reserves. The surge completely wiped out two of our hides at Snettisham, quite apart from the damage done to the sea banks and lagoons. The photograph of our hide teetering on the edge of collapse was hard to forget.

“The appeal marks the start of trying to rebuild this wonderful place so that people can experience the wildlife of The Wash at the very heart of it. Snettisham is a place that thousands of people enjoy every year. With their support I hope we can make it even better and inspire more people, especially the younger generation, with the amazing wildlife of this special place.”

Above: flock of knot and oystercatchers at Snettisham. Photo by Les Bunyan

One new hide will replace the two that were lost in the storm. It been designed to be more resilient to floods while providing people with fantastic views of the main attraction – Snettisham’s wildlife – and will be a building for everyone, improving the experience for all visitors including birdwatchers, photographers, walkers and wildlife lovers.

Jim Scott: “Donating to this appeal is a great way to really make a difference for the future of Snettisham nature reserve. There are some wonderful rewards on offer too, but they’re likely to be in demand so get donating quickly!”

Artist's impression of new storm-resilient hide in cross-section: 

Crowdfunding allows members of the public to donate money for a specific purpose in exchange for rewards, many of which are exclusive and certainly ‘money can’t buy’ experiences. The RSPB has managed to secure some truly wonderful rewards that should inspire people to donate to this important appeal.

The appeal is now live at Visit the appeal page to see a full list of the rewards on offer and follow @RSPBintheEast and #SnettsHide on Twitter to stay up to date with news from the appeal.