Funding has been given to a range of projects that will support environmental improvements across the North East coastline.
Activities supporting coastal birds on Teesside to eider ducks in Northumberland are among those set to benefit from funding and support from Northumbrian Water.
The company is also hosting a new Beach Care Officer role for SeaScapes, the first Marine National Lottery Heritage Fund Landscape Partnership, which will see £4m being invested in the coastline between the rivers Tyne and Tees over the next four years. The post represents part of around £170,000 of support that has already been given to the partnership.
Beach Care Officer Louise Harrington has taken up the role, which will see her identifying coastal improvements, as well as driving community engagement and volunteering activity.
In addition, Northumbrian Water has recently supported three coastal projects through its environmental fund Branch Out and its Water Environment scheme.
Teesside: Money from the company’s Branch Out fund, alongside support from its Water Environment Improvements scheme, has been given to the Wilder Coast Project on Teesside. A total of £14,500 has being invested in this project, which will enhance the water environment through a designated project officer working across the area.
The role will focus on the protection of internationally important coastal birds and their feeding and nesting habitats. This will include engaging with customers and communities to promote positive environmental behaviours, and managing plastic waste and litter through volunteering, events, and social media campaigns.
The project will also deliver habitat work and access improvements at two coastal Tees Valley Wildlife Trust reserves in the area; Coatham Marsh SSSI and Saltburn Gill SSSI.
Northumberland: The Eider Aware project has been supported with £2,000 of Branch Out funding for a £5,000 project aimed at supporting the newly designated Berwick to St Mary’s Marine Conservation Zone to protect nationally important populations of eider duck. The species is under pressure from recreational disturbance and accidental catching in fishing lines.
The funding will support the creation of awareness raising materials and events to support the Marine Conservation Zone’s protection aims.
Meanwhile, £10,000 of Water Environment funding has been given to the Catch My Drift project at Druridge Bay, in partnership with Northumberland Wildlife Trust. The project aims to improve the site through the management and creation of priority habitats, enhancement of wildlife-watching facilities, improvement of public access routes, and creation of both on-site and virtual interpretation. This project will improve 4.8km of accessible water environment.
Northumbrian Water’s Conservation and Land Manager, Stuart Pudney said: “The environment is at the heart of everything we do, and our environmental funding schemes are there to help us support others who are doing amazing things that are benefiting those things that really matter to us and our customers.
“It’s fantastic that we have been able to give funding to these projects up and down the coast, to not only protect and support these important species, but to also help deliver improvements that can help people appreciate these areas.”