On Monday 10 July, the RSPB in Eastern England launched its first ever crowdfunding appeal, starting the clock on a one month appeal during which it hopes to raise the £120,000 needed to replace two wildlife hides at Snettisham nature reserve destroyed by coastal storms in 2013.
Wildlife TV presenter and RSPB Vice President Chris Packham has leant his support to narrate a short volunteer-made appeal video, saying the new hide at Snettisham will "help inspire a whole new generation of nature lovers with the incredible sights and sounds of The Wash".
RSPB Snettisham nature reserve lies on the edge of the expansive tidal mudflats of The Wash - the UK's largest estuarine habitat and its most important site for wading birds and wildfowl.
Every year thousands of people from around the country travel to Snettisham to witness the aerial displays of the tens of thousands of birds attracted to The Wash by the abundance of food in the mud. Since 2013 though, they have had to do so without the two hides lost during the storm surge.
Site Manager Jim Scott said: "The devastating tidal surge in December 2013 left a trail of destruction along the Norfolk coastline and at our coastal reserves. The surge completely wiped out two of our hides at Snettisham, quite apart from the damage done to the sea banks and lagoons. The photograph of our hide teetering on the edge of collapse was hard to forget.
"Today marks the start of trying to rebuild this wonderful place so that people can experience the wildlife of The Wash at the very heart of it. Snettisham is a place that thousands of people enjoy every year. With their support I hope we can make it even better and inspire more people, especially the younger generation, with the amazing wildlife of this special place."
One new hide will replace the two that were lost in the storm. It been designed to be more resilient to floods while providing people with fantastic views of the main attraction - Snettisham's wildlife - and will be a building for everyone, improving the experience for all visitors including birdwatchers, photographers, walkers and wildlife lovers.
Crowdfunding allows members of the public to donate money for a specific purpose in exchange for rewards, many of which are exclusive and certainly 'money can't buy' experiences. The RSPB has managed to secure some truly wonderful rewards that should inspire people to donate to this important appeal.
Jim Scott: "Donating to this appeal is a great way to really make a difference for the future of Snettisham nature reserve. There are some wonderful rewards on offer too, but they're likely to be in demand so get donating quickly!"
The appeal is now live at crowdfunder.co.uk/snettishamhide
- Our Crowdfunder web page is here: www.crowdfunder.co.uk/snettishamhide. The appeal runs until 7 August 2017. The RSPB will receive all donations to the appeal before it closes, whether the target of £120,000 is hit or not.
- Follow us on our RSPB Norfolk Facebook and @RSPBintheEast Twitter pages and share our updates and news about the appeal.
- Join us for one of our fabulous Wader Watch events taking place during the crowdfunding period. More details here.
- Continue to help us spread the word. Tell your friends, family and colleagues all about our appeal and what a wonderful place RSPB Snettisham is for nature lovers.
- Share our appeal using your social media accounts. Use the hashtag #SnettsHide when you do.
- Support our Thunderclap
The Rewards on offer as part of the appeal are:
- Limited edition mugs, t-shirts and pin badges with designs inspired or produced by local artists.
- Limited edition photo canvases and prints from Les Bunyan and Chris Gomersall.
- Signed binoculars by Miranda Krestovnikoff.
- Original watercolour painting by Steve Cale.
- Exclusive birding master classes with Jim Scott and Paul Eele.
- Photography master classes with Chris Gomersall.
- A Wild Goose Chase with Paul Eele.
- Goose walk, breakfast, birding and lunch with Jim Scott and Mike Dilger.
- Warden for the day
- And the big one... naming the hide!
If you'd like any more information or think you might be able to help further please let us know. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call: 01485 545263
- The RSPB is the UK's largest nature conservation charity, inspiring everyone to give nature a home. Together with our partners, we protect threatened birds and wildlife so our towns, coast and countryside will teem with life once again. We play a leading role in BirdLife International, a worldwide partnership of nature conservation organisations. www.rspb.org.uk
- To keep up to date with all RSPB news in the Eastern Region: