Each year the WHT issues a £5 stamp featuring specially commissioned wildlife artwork. All funds generated by the sale of these stamps are distributed to deserving projects through the Wildlife Habitat Trust and the Wildlife Habitat Charitable Trusts (Registered charity no. 1013816). This year’s WHT stamp has been painted by wildlife artist John Davis and features golden plover on the Ribble estuary.
A £14,000 grant from the Wildlife Habitat Charitable Trust (WHCT) will help to restore natural floodplain on selected sites of the Pripyat River in Belarus. The river provides important stopover sites for migratory birds in Europe and key breeding grounds for rare and endangered species.
Changes in land use have had a negative impact on this important area and open floodplain meadows were becoming overgrown with shrubs and trees, making them unattractive to wildfowl. The grant from WHCT will help restore 500 hectares of open floodplain providing better habitat for important UK quarry species such as greylag geese, mallard, pintail, wigeon and teal.
The grant, which enabled the project team to secure an additional £17,500 from local authorities in Belarus, will also create demonstration sites and workshops for local people to explain the importance of the floodplain and how it can be managed in the future.
Tim Russell, secretary to the WHT said: “Migratory wildfowl face many challenges as they make their annual migrations to and from breeding grounds in arctic tundra and overwintering wetlands here in the UK. Conservation of migratory wildfowl is made more difficult by the changing climate, and there is increasing evidence that some birds are changing their migration patterns as a consequence. Conservation projects must therefore focus on important stopover sites like the Pripyat River, where wildfowl feed and rest during their journeys.”
Over the last five years trustees of the WHCT have made other grants totalling £30,000 to international projects. These include habitat restoration projects on stopover sites for migratory wildfowl in Lithuania and the Kaliningrad Region of Russia. These projects have proved extremely successful as they have improved the habitat significantly.
The Wildlife Habitat Trust (WHT) has granted a loan of £50,000 to Westmorland Wildfowlers’ Association (W.W.A) towards the purchase of 27 acres of land at Tarneybank Tarn near Killington, Cumbria.
The land purchased by W.W.A. will expand the club’s shooting opportunities and conservation projects. The land will also be used to train new members and young people in good shooting practice and conservation work.
Club secretary Andy Stott said: “The latest purchase of 27 acres of land known as Tarneybank Tarn in South Cumbria will help the award-winning Westmorland Wildfowlers’ Association to increase its portfolio of land for shooting and conservation. The new land will provide more shooting, deer stalking and fishing opportunities to our club members as well as providing new areas to expand our mallard nest-tube conservation program. The W.W.A. is indebted to the WHT staff for their help and advice, efficient handing of our application and ultimate loan of £50,000 to secure the Tarn for the BASC-affiliated wildfowling club.”
Tim Russell, WHT secretary and director of conservation at BASC, said: “The WHT is pleased to have been able to help Westmorland Wildfowlers’ with their land purchase. This is a significant step for the club and one which will help secure their future success. The WHT continues to provide support to groups wanting to buy land for shooting and conservation.”
For more information about Westmorland Wildfowlers’ Association membership contact the club membership secretary on email@example.com or go to: http://www.westmorlandwildfowlersassociation.co.uk/
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