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Essex: Nature reserve’s wetlands project boosted by £84k grant

Saltmarsh next to Fingringhoe Wick

Saltmarsh next to Fingringhoe Wick

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A north Essex nature reserve is set to be expanded after a sizeable grant.

Land next to Fingringhoe Wick Land next to Fingringhoe Wick

Essex Wildlife Trust has been given £84,000 to expand the reserve at Fingringhoe Wick, overlooking the Colne Estuary.

The grant, from WREN’s Biodiversity Action Fund Land Purchase Programme and other funders, has allowed the trust to buy an extra 33.3 hectares of farmland next to the existing reserve.

Essex Wildlife Trust can now press ahead with a long-term project to create a wetland environment including coastal marshes and mudflats

Species to benefit will include little terns, common pochard, ringed plover, redshank, bittern, hen harrier, dark-bellied Brent geese, water voles, dragonflies and damselflies.

The project will also open up an area currently inaccessible for visitors, including bird hides.

John Hall, trust chief executive, said: “Essex Wildlife Trust is extremely grateful to WREN for the £84,000 we’ve received through the Land Purchase programme.

“The grant will go towards the purchase of additional land next to Fingringhoe Wick nature Reserve, which has been described as the ‘jewel in the Trust’s crown’.

“The trust along with our partners, the Environment Agency, will work to create the wetland at the end of the summer in 2015, so as not to disturb important birds in the estuary. This is such an exciting conservation project and we are very appreciative of the funding.”

WREN is a not-for-profit business that awards grants generated by landfill tax through sites owned by FCC Environment, to community, environmental and heritage projects countrywide.

Essex Wildlife Trust is one of six projects to receive a share of the fund this year.

Kristian Dales, sales and marketing director at FCC Environment, said: “We’re looking forward to seeing how the project progresses and are delighted that the Essex Wildlife Trust is able to continue its fantastic work making a huge difference to UK conservation.”

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