I am, by chance, a creature of the East of England and many of my recent memorable wildlife experiences have taken place next to the North Sea. These include a January 2014 dawn visit to see the Snettisham wader roost. My godson, son and I were joined by about 100 others who braved the biting cold to witness the incredible spectacle of thousands of birds feeding on the mudflats and flying overhead.
My visit was made more memorable as it was a month after the devastating tidal surge that left a trail of destruction along the UK’s coastline and our coastal reserves. The surge completely destroyed two of our hides at Snettisham and seriously damaged another, as well as causing devastating damage to the sea banks and lagoons. The image of our hide teetering on the edge of collapse was hard to forget.
In fact, much of East Anglia was hit pretty badly, with the most extensive impacts felt not just at Snettisham but also at Havergate and Dingle nature reserves (described via my blog here).
We worked hard to repair the damage to the reserve’s habitats, using money generously donated by supporters where it was most urgently needed, protecting wildlife, but to date we haven’t been able to rebuild the destroyed hides.
Now, with help from our supporters, we want to replace the two hides that were destroyed with one that is bigger and better, designed to stand up to future storm surges.
So earlier this month we launched a 30 day crowdfunding appeal* to help raise £120,000 to rebuild the wildlife watching hide at RSPB Snettisham Nature Reserve. We have until Tuesday, 8 August to raise as much as we can.
We’ve raised about £10,000 so far but need more support.
I rarely appeal for cash through this blog, but am prepared to make an exception for a new hide at Snettisham.
So, if you would like to help inspire a whole new generation of nature lovers with the sights and sounds of The Wash, please do donate here and also sign up to our Thunderclap happening on Thursday, 27 June here. Even if you are unable to support the appeal financially, you can join us for one of our Wader Watch events taking place during the crowdfunding period (more details can be found here).
Image from Les Bunyan
*For those of you who don't know, 'Crowdfunding' is the practice of funding a project by raising relatively small amounts of money from a large number of people, typically via the Internet. In exchange for pledging money to the project through our crowdfunding appeal we will be offering money can’t buy rewards which include some fantastic products and experiences. These rewards are truly wonderful, many of which have been donated by local businesses, artists, photographers and our volunteers. We hope these rewards will inspire people to donate to help us raise the money we need to build the hide.
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© The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) is a registered charity: England and Wales no. 207076, Scotland no. SC037654