Somerset Wildlife Trust picks Marine Week to power up ITS coastal education and engagement work
Community Mitigation Fund (CIM) to support coastal engagement plans
1st August 2018- Somerset Wildlife Trust is pleased to announce that it is able to start a vital piece of its coastal conservation programme following it securing funds from the Community Impact Mitigation Fund, negotiated with EDF Energy as part of a wider mitigation package for the site preparation works at Hinkley Point in West Somerset. The funds will enable the Trust to carry out a three year coastal project focusing on connecting people who live, visit and work on the coast with our stunning coastline – a place that has been little explored, valued or understood to date.
The project involves delivering a range of exciting coastal events to inspire people to explore the coast, to help parishes make stronger connections with their coastline, and working with schools and youth groups to educate and inspire the next generation about the coast. It is only with the support of the public that large-scale, long term protection of our coastline can be achieved.
Michele Bowe, Director of Conservation explains, "Two years ago our organisation made a firm commitment to protecting Somerset’s coast, its unique habitats and special species, and to help increase its resilience in the light of the overwhelming pressures it now finds itself under - from both human development and the impacts of climate change.
We created a conservation programme for our coast which comprises a number of work strands to help us achieve those goals. One of these is to complete the very first intertidal survey of our coast, which will provide the vital evidence and data needed to inform better decision-making for our coast. Now, thanks to £159,000 from the Hinkley Point C Community Impact Mitigation Fund we can now fully put into practice another vital strand of our coastal programme - which is to connect people with our stunning coastline.”
Jolyon Chesworth, Nature and Wellbeing Manager who will be driving this part of the programme, says: “Many of us don’t fully appreciate how special and important our coast is, so encouraging interest and enthusing coastal communities, schools, families and visitors about what they have on their doorstep is really vital if we are to stand up for these special places and look after them. People care about and value what they have experienced, so the aim of this part of our coastal programme is to showcase our coast and create a groundswell of passion for the brilliant things it has to offer and how we can collectively secure a healthy future for it.”
Firstly, the Trust will launch a programme of events, called ‘Curious Coast’, giving people the chance to learn more about our coastline and how they can work together to protect it. Secondly, it will work with local communities on 'Parish Shores' which will enable coastal parishes to make stronger connections between their villages and the coast. Thirdly, it will work with schools and youth groups, to take young people to the coast to explore and learn about this fabulous natural asset on their doorstep."
This week is National Marine Week (which lasts from 28th July to 12th August), which aims to encourage people to appreciate and enjoy the marine environment around them. To kick start the programme the Trust has organised a Rockpool Ramble at Helwell Bay near Watchet, on 10th August from 10.30am – 12.30pm. More information and booking details can be found at www.somersetwildlife.org/RockpoolRamble.html or by calling 01823 652400
Seal: Alexander Mustard, Starfish:Nigel Phillips,
For interviews and further information please contact Kirby Everett on 01823 652413 or email: or Lisa Whaley on 01823 652438 or
Notes to editors:
About Somerset Wildlife Trust – www.somersetwildlife.org
Somerset’s wildlife is part of what makes living, working and visiting the county so special. Somerset Wildlife Trust has been protecting vulnerable wildlife and preserving Somerset’s wild places for over 50 years and, with over 18,000 members, is the largest conservation charity in the county. Alongside our members and volunteers we work year round to protect wildlife, transform landscapes and put nature back into people’s lives.
Our reserves holding of over 1700 hectares incorporates a diverse range of habitats from wetlands to woodlands, grasslands and meadows, and provide secure environments for a diverse range of wildlife such as Dormice, Otters, Hedgehogs, Barn Owls and many other species - as well as providing safe havens for some of Somerset’s most iconic species such as Bittern and Large Blue butterfly. These habitats also connect green spaces across the county so wildlife can travel, and are the bedrock upon which we are able to deliver key conservation programmes across the year.
The majority of our work is made possible through the support of our members and people who live and work in the county who choose to make donations, fundraise for us or leave generous legacies. By working together with our members and supporters we really can make a difference.
Hinkley Point Community Impact Mitigation Fund
The Hinkley Point C Community Impact Mitigation Fund was negotiated with EDF Energy as part of a wider mitigation package for the site preparation works at Hinkley Point in West Somerset.
£7.2m has been made available for community projects in Somerset (and in particular West Somerset and Sedgemoor) that aim to alleviate any social, environmental or economic impacts of the Hinkley Point C development.
To be considered for funding projects must be relevant and related to the impacts of the Hinkley Point C development and seek to improve the social, environmental or economic wellbeing of communities. Projects that aim to help communities harness the positive opportunities offered by the Hinkley Point C development may also be considered.
For more information on the CIM Fund and other funds available for communities impacted by the development at Hinkley Point C please visit www.hpcfunds.co.uk"