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Land Trust sites nominated for Tesco's Bags of Help funding

20 February 2016

Calling all Tesco customers, we need your help! We're happy to announce that Rabbit Ings Country Park, Northumberlandia and Avenue Washlands will be recipients of Tesco's Bags of Help initiative and we need your help! Tesco has teamed up with Groundwork to launch a scheme will see three community groups and projects across the UK awarded grants of £12,000, £10,000 and £8,000. Now we need your votes!

Bags of Help offers community groups and projects in each of Tesco's 390 regions across the UK a share of revenue generated from the five pence charge levied on single use carrier bags.  The money raised from the 5p bag charge in the UK will be used to pay for a large number of local projects to improve green spaces in communities right across the UK.

People, Ponds and a Rabbit project at Rabbit Ings Country Park.

This project will allow us to carry out improvements to the area around a large pond at Rabbit Ings and to install a new pond dipping platform. This will enable school groups and other visitors to safely view and learn about the variety of wildlife that rely upon the site's wetland habitats to feed and nest. The new platform will allow us to accommodate more users and improve safety for environmental education activities on site and provide the opportunity to view and learn about the importance of wetland ecosystems and the species that use these habitats, from dragonflies and damselflies, toads and water beetles, to harvest mice and reed warblers. Should the full grant of £12,000 be made, log seating and picnic tables will be installed, providing an outdoor classroom area, a focus for community events and a spot for visitors to rest and enjoy the park.

Natural Connections project at Northumberlandia.

The project will involve the creation of new wildlife habitats and provide improved access for visitors to explore the site and learn about the natural world. This will involve creating a wildlife garden adjacent to the visitor centre and installing a screened bird feed station to encourage more species to the site. Additional wildflower planting will create more habitats and new nature trails and improvements to pathways will provide ease of access to families and those with accessibility requirements.  If a full grant of £12,000 is awarded to us, this will enable us to agree a more formal arrangement with local schools to bring classes to the site as part of curriculum led 'learning outside the classroom' activities. This would involve funding buses to bring school groups to the site where needed, producing specific materials and guides to the site related to learning needs and additional time for Northumberland Wildlife Trust to plan, coordinate and deliver educational activities.

Walls for Wildlife in Derbyshire project at Avenue Washlands Nature Reserve. 

The project will involve volunteers being trained in the traditional craft of dry stone walling to protect sensitive areas of wildlife.  Two artificial Sand Martin banks which will provide new locations for Sand Martins to nest and fledge where a lack of appropriate nesting habitat has caused a decline in numbers over recent years will also be installed.

The public will now vote in store from 27th February until 6th March on who should receive the £12,000, £10,000 and £8,000 awards.  To find out more, visit www.tesco.com/bagsofhelp.  To find out where you can vote at your local store, click here.

Administration of the local funding will be handled by environmental improvement charity Groundwork, which specialises in transforming local green spaces for the better.