Making the difference at Fingringhoe Wick

PUBLISHED: 08:48 19 May 2014 | UPDATED: 08:48 19 May 2014

EXG MAY 14 EWT

EXG MAY 14 EWT

Archant

Could you help Essex Wildlife Trust bring a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to fruition? Essex Wildlife Trust has the chance to purchase 87 acres of land next to its much-loved Fingringhoe Wick Nature Reserve, south-east of Colchester, providing the opportunity to turn what is currently arable land into a fantastic new wetland.

The trust needs to raise the last £85,830 to enable it to purchase the land by a deadline of June 1, to match the funds the trust has already received for the land purchase.

The site is set in a spectacular position, with stunning views over the Colne estuary. The trust is working on the project in partnership with the Environment Agency, which has already worked on the estuarine modelling and monitoring and will undertake all works on site to create the inter-tidal habitat, including breaching the seawall.

Planning permission has been granted and the timing of the construction works will be critical to avoid disturbing breeding birds and over-wintering birds. Once this work has been done, footpaths will be established and a bird hide will be put up to provide views over the nature reserve and the stunning estuary.

Many important species will benefit from the project as the estuary is of international importance for wintering brent geese and black tailed godwit and of national importance for breeding little terns and wintering waders and wildfowl. Other species that will benefit include avocet, lapwing, pintail, wigeon, hen harrier, marsh harrier and short-eared owl. Due to the natural gradient of the site, a significant reedbed will also be created, to attract water vole, bittern, bearded tit and a range of dragonflies and damselflies.

Fingringhoe Wick was Essex Wildlife Trust’s first nature reserve, created in 1961, and the site of the trust’s first visitor centre, which was built in 1975. There are stunning views, fantastic walks through wild habitats and in early May it is arguably the best place in the country to hear and see nightingales.

To donate to this appeal, please go to www.essexwt.org.uk, call 01621 862964 or send a cheque to Essex Wildlife Trust, Abbotts Hall Farm, Great Wigborough, Colchester, CO5 7RZ (cheques made payable to Essex Wildlife Trust).

All donors will be invited on a special guided walk at Fingringhoe, once the wetland has been created, led by Essex Wildlife Trust staff and volunteers. If more than £85,830 is raised from this appeal, the trust has guaranteed to use the surplus to fund further work at Fingringhoe Wick.

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