Peninsula's £4,000 community initiative boost from AONB

By Tom Fairbrother

7th Aug 2022 | Local News

Shotley marshes enjoys an abundance of birdlife (Picture credit: Gill Moon)
Shotley marshes enjoys an abundance of birdlife (Picture credit: Gill Moon)

An information board about birdlife in Shotley and river trips up the Orwell were among four projects awarded £2,000 across Suffolk to will help people in the area discover nature on their doorstep and understand why the landscape is so special.

The Coast & Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) Community & Conservation Fund supports projects that cover heritage, media, conservation, learning, health, accessibility, and diversity through an annual small grants programme.

Successful applicants typically receive grants ranging from £500-700 and this year four fantastic projects have been funded that will introduce more people to nature and allow them to engage with the landscape in new ways.

The East Anglian Sailing Trust received £650 for Discovering the River Orwell trips, sailing adventures on The River Orwell that will give disadvantaged younger children the opportunity to appreciate, discover and learn about all aspects of the river.

Avocets among birdlife on rivers Orwell and Stour (Picture credit: Nub News)

Visitors to Shotley will be able to learn more about the diverse range of wildlife that frequents the River Stour thanks to a new birdwatching noticeboard.

The Shotley Heritage Charitable Community Benefit Society were awarded £700 to install the noticeboard at Shotley Pier, which will showcase images of birdlife, so people can learn what kind of birds they are seeing, along with a chalkboard to record daily sightings.  

Derek Davis, Babergh district councillor for Ganges ward and an AONB committee member, was delighted two initiatives promoting the Shotley peninsula were included in the successful applications.

"The #stunningShotleypenisula is a voyage of discovery every day," said Cllr Davis." Whether you walk along the river paths, or sail up the Orwell, or Stour, were is so much to discover and enjoy.

"We know Suffolk Coast & Heaths AONB do an amazing job in preserving, protecting and enhancing the peninsula d the more we can do to encourage and educate visitors, and those of us that love living here, the better it is.

"Well done to our AONB team for organising and making these awards happen."

AONB member and Shotley councillor Derek Davis talking about birdlife with coastline walker Blue Wilson

Hollesley School were awarded £700 to create a new wildlife area for children in the school. The funds will be used to create a forest school area within the school grounds, whilst also developing the existing wildlife area.   

Finally, Transition Woodbridge received £216 to create 5-minute Litter Pick Stations which can be used by anyone who would like to pick up litter in the Woodbridge and Melton area.

The litter picking equipment can be used by anyone passing by and will help engage with residents and visitors alike and raise awareness of the importance of keeping our rivers and landscapes litter-free to help nature and wildlife.

You can find out more about the Community & Conservation Fund and all the AONB's grants programmes by visiting www.suffolkcoastandheaths.org/managing.

Beach cleaners also get £2,000 AONB award (Picture credit: Gill Moon)

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